Why Editing Your Writing Sucks

I’m a writer, but I hate editing.

Of course I will eventually do it (at least for the stuff that I get paid for writing — so this post probably wasn’t edited, sue me). Editing is important. It’s the process that makes anyone’s writing good. Or at least better*.

But here’s what sucks about editing:

So you wrote something. Some time ago. And now you’re re-reading it to edit. You start reading and OMG, this totally sucks. It’s terrible writing. You drive your pen through every other sentence, add words, remove words, replace removed words.

It’s absolutely clear to you — everything you wrote sucks.

From there it’s only a short bus ride to the conclusion that you suck as a writer. How can anyone sane pay you to do this at all is truly beyond your limited imagination.

But someone obviously is stupid enough to pay you to do this, so you push through. In despair, often checking Facebook in case there’s a job offer for a ditch digger or some other job more suitable to your skill set.

And that’s when you get to another piece of your writing.

You read through it and it seems now it’s your red pen that’s in danger of collecting unemployment checks. Everything you read is great. You correct typos, add commas, change a word or two every couple paragraphs.

Somebody call the PEN, because obviously you’re the best writer ever alive and disregard that asterisk at the bottom of this post, it must have been written by an insane person anyway!

No, we’re not done with my whining yet.

Here’s the second twist of the editing story. Suddenly you start questioning your editing skills. You should be making changes. You’re not the type of writer who gets it all right the first time. Or are you? No, you know too well you’re not. So not only are you a shitty writer, but also a shitty editor?

Oh fuck me, where’s my fifth gin tonic?! If you need me, I’m on Facebook, looking for funny GIFs or ditch digging gigs. Or was it ditch gigging digs..?

*(If you’re one of the rare writers who writes perfect first drafts, let me know that I hate you, despise you, envy you and still think you’re a terrible monster and should be caged without access to paper, pen, keyboards or key picks)