Are You Done, Yet? The Never Ending Stage Of Editing

Don't get caught in the cycle

Don’t get caught in the cycle

I’m in my first draft edits for my second book, I Won’t Cry, and at this point I feel like the editing will never be done. I’m always finding new scenes to add, words to take out or change, and something that’s just not right. Do you feel the same way after you’ve written something?

Why Editing Is Never Done In The Writer’s Mind

Notice I said in the writer’s mind. The reader may think that the book is fine. In fact, sometimes it’s us that keeps our readers on hold because we believe what we have isn’t perfect yet.

But here’s the truth. No one is perfect.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t aim for perfection. By all means aim high! But I don’t want you to get so caught up in trying to make something perfect that you never end up putting your work out there to the public. 🙁

Here are three reasons why I think we never ship our work:

  1. Fear of Criticism
  2. Fear of the Unknown
  3. Fear of not meeting everyone’s expectation

There’s nothing wrong with having these fear, I have them as well.( I think it’s a human thing). But you have to move past your fears and get your work out to the world because if you don’t, you won’t be able to share that fantastic story you have going on in your head.

Why It’s Important To Ship Your Work

You’ve written something that you’ve just couldn’t keep in your head. Your work deserves to be out there in the world and read by people who will love your work. Will everyone love it? No, because everyone is different. Should fear of criticism stop you from publishing for the people who will love it? Of course, not.

I know this sounds easier said than done but I have got through this stage of constant editing before and I know you can too.

Here are three ways to help get over your editing rut and put your work out to the world:

1.  Give Yourself a deadline

If you limit yourself by time then your deadline will be finalized for you which will help bring your editing journey to an end. This is not to make you feel rushed but to make you feel finished. You can draft something a hundred times over but by giving yourself a time limit you can move forward to the next process of putting your book out to the world.

2.  Get reader feedback

If you are able to get someone close to you to read your work, it can help you see if your book is going in the right direction or not. If you hear positive feedback it can help encourage you to see the end of your editing. Even if the feedback is negative, you would be told your problematic areas and be able to focus on that particular issue as opposed to being all over the place and not knowing what parts need more attention.

3.  Planning your edits before you start

When you plan out exactly what you have to edit for your story, you can see the finish line. For example, you can come up with a plan that says you will add any needed scenes first, then plot edit, then line edit and then a final spell check before sending to a professional editor. This is how I edit.

I plan out what I’m going to do for editing so that I won’t forget and that I know when to stop and give it to someone else who can see beyond my writer’s eye.

It’s very easy to get caught up in a never-ending editing cycle, but remember why you wrote in the first place. You wrote to share your work and you work to give your readers something they will enjoy.

It will never be perfect in your eyes if you keep editing. So take pride in what you have.

Hope this helps you on your writing journey

-Shaquanda

photo credit Pixxart

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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to Learnasyouwrite.com! A little about myself, I'm 20, I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and am a Sohomore at the University of Wisonsin-Milwaukee. I love writing and have written short stories and simple works since I was nine years old. I have a cute cate named Joey who loves to scratch and bite on his good days.

  • Nadia

    Shaquanda, I love your writing advice, I’m so happy that I “found” your blog and all these gems of wisdom and help! I’m currently in this never ending cycle with my work and I feel it’ll never end! I’m totally taking up the idea of planning before I start, I think that will save me a lot of time doing nothing! 🙂

    • Shaquanda Dalton

      Great! I think that’s a great idea. Good luck with your book and keep writing!

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