My brain is consumed by editing. Some days it works. Other days it does not. Here’s a few of the things that are working (or not working) for me during this trying time.
DON’T feel like I have to fix all the problems in this draft. Some things I can postpone because I’m not sure how to do it yet or I want input from other people to see if it’s really something that needs fixing. Some things I have to postpone or I’ll drive myself crazy.
DO tackle the things that you want to work on now. Maybe it’s not the most efficient to tweak that one little sentence that might be deleted anyway, but it checks something off the list and you feel like you accomplished something. Or maybe you don’t feel like working on the next chapter just yet.
DON’T edit more than one work at a time. It’s confusing and that’s a good way to end up having to go back and fix the fix.
DO take a break in between editing writing projects, because I didn’t and now I’m really done with all this. Even a breather of a day would have been good, to cleanse the palate.
DON’T try to do it in short little stints. Unfortunately, (at least for me) editing is not like writing where you can knock out a few sentences here and there. If I’m going to do decent work, I have to sit down for at least ten minutes a session, preferably more like a half hour/hour, and really get into it. Of course, I’m also trying to do big character and plot edits. In later drafts, it’ll probably be much more doable to sit down for a minute and correct a sentence or fix some punctuation.
DO push things off to another draft if necessary. I’ve got a list of things that I’m not going to tackle this draft for a variety of reasons. Some I can’t figure out just yet and it’s frustrating me, some I want more eyes on to see if I really need to fix it, and others I might have already fixed by tweaking other areas so I’ll want to give it a breather and then check to see if it’s still an issue.
I am taking a vacation next week. Mostly from babysitting, but also a few days from writing. I’m kind of excited about it. (I also get to see my grandma, which is going to be amazing!) At this point, I need every day to meet my summer goals. But I am also aware that if I don’t stop for a minute, I’m going to fail completely and possibly stop writing altogether for a few months. I don’t want total burnout. So it’s a break.
If all goes well, I’ll pick some really silly topic for next week’s post.