There’s something about editing that I both love and hate. I guess all writers feel this way. It doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist… to the point that it’s probably unhealthy.Whenever I finish writing something, be it a manuscript, lyric, or article, I always feel a burning need to re-read it. I’m ego-centric, I admit, and have a desire to see what my thoughts look like on paper. But once I start going through it… I end up re-writing entire sections for no reason other than to make myself “sound smarter” than I really am. Or maybe it’s for readability… Either way, I hack through anything I’ve written and destroy it before I’m done.
This generally leaves me with about 1/5th of what I originally wrote and the now burning desire to claw out my own eyes. Why? Burn out. Just as I’m a perfectionist, I’m a completionist… once the editing process starts, I can’t… just… leave it. I have to finish. In one sitting. This is a pretty tiring process.
So what does a perfectionst/completionist writer do? Write novels, of course! Since that’s what I’ve been “writing” my entire life (ed: I’ve finished a number of them but I’ve started/nearly completed at least 30 or 40; I’m just now seeking to publish one, though), it seems only natural that my idiot self would want to edit my work. Unfortunately, it means I’ve spent the last two years editing (after I finished writing in a little over a month and a half).
I think I am an agent/editor’s worst nightmare. It’s not that I don’t finish projects, because I do, it’s that I’m such a perfectionist that since they never feel finished to me, an agent has to rip the manuscript out of my cold, dead hands.
Any other writers feel this way? Have you finished something and had it published that you wish you could go back and re-do completely? Or add sections in?