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Summoning the Oomph to Edit

6 January, 2010

First up, word count: absolutely zero. I could cite extenuating circumstances, such as long work days and a job interview that’s left my brain fried, but really they would be just excuses. I haven’t written anything for three days and I really should have done.

Writing new words aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about editing and how to, as the title of this post says, get the ‘oomph’ to get on with it. I have a novel that’s had a handful of positive comments but which I feel needs one final overhaul before I start sending it out to agents again.

Which is where I run into a problem. I enjoy editing when I really get down to it: the feeling of improving something you’ve written is very satisfying. However, it’s also time-consuming and harder to quantify than producing a first draft (which can be easily measured by word counts), which somehow means that I find it hard to get the impetus to even open up my word document and wonder what I need to do next.

So, a few questions: if you’re a writer, how do you persuade yourself to get on with editing your work? Is it like pulling teeth or do you enjoy the editing more than the actual writing (I know some writers do)? Finally, any tips for a writer who’s struggling to get to grips with their edits and really now just wants them out of the way?

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