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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Joy of Editing

One of the things I actually enjoy about writing is editing.  Well to be a bit more specific, I enjoy editing when I actually have the time to do it effectively.  For me, editing is almost magical.  It's a way that you can turn something on the left side of average into something that's pretty darn good.  Editing is about clarity, it's about purpose, it's about functionality.  Editing is something of a luxury.

Why a luxury?

Well, if you read half of my "stuff" you probably come to the conclusion that I don't do enough editing.  There are mistakes here, typos there.  It can be a mess.  But this is, at least from my perspective, part of the very nature of blogging.  Part of it comes down to writing style and habit.

The writing style part of me can best be described as "stream of consciousness".  This posting is a good example.  When I write, what you see for the most part is what is in my head at that very moment.  I try, very hard, to not over-engineer what I am writing.  By over-engineer I simply mean that I don't over think or over write my thoughts.  I just pretty much let the thoughts/words pour out over the keyboard, sentence fragments and all.  Yes, what you see here is what is in my head at the moment my fingers cruise the keyboard.  Scary, huh?

The writing habit part has more to do with time.  More than half of what you see in this blog is written in the morning, mostly before I go to work.  I tend to wake up with tons of stuff in my head, and writing creates the perfect opportunity to do something with the stuff.  Being a morning person, I am at my very best during the hours after just waking up, so this is when the writing actually happens.  The only downside to writing at this time is that I usually am very pressed for  time.

I do edit my postings, but I usually don't have very much time for editing.  Thorough editing becomes this luxury that I can only afford on rare occasions.  Those occasions are mostly the rare postings that I write over time for special occasions.  Now at any given time I have about 6-10 postings in draft; of the 6, maybe 3 will eventually see the light of day.  Some of these postings are just abortive attempts at being profound, some are just plain stupid, others are thoughts that I just can't seem to complete for one reason or another.  The postings that do make it to the publish button are usually the best edited stuff I write.  By "best edited" I am referring more to a Lord of the Flies kind of thing (best held in the perspective of someone like me who just causally writes).

1 comment:

Gort said...

Sometimes I should do a better job of editing my stuff. I would piss off less people that way.