Editing starts with E, but seems endless.


A written piece can be edited over and over, then passed to another set of eyes, and edited some more.  Once it's back in the hand of the author, he/she can still say, "oh, here's something I missed."

A writer once told me he doesn't look at his books once they are published, because he sees where more editing could be done.  I suspect it is like this in all the arts.  Michelangelo might look at the Pieta today and sigh, "there's a rough spot.  Where's a chisel?"

See?  Endless.

Therefore, this is now my guide when editing my own work.  (I don't know who said it, but it's brilliant):  "An author never finishes his work; he abandons it."

If you're a writer, you're probably nodding your head.  Yep, that's how it feels.  At some point...we're just done.  Our piece might be edited by others and maybe changed into a whole other story/essay/whatever.  But, at some point....you decide to lay it down and walk way.  There's closure in your heart, and what you've written now belongs to the world.  At some point, we have to stop tinkering.

Like Michelangelo did with the Pieta.

He then went on to paint the Sistine Chapel.

The point?  Keep moving forward. 


TLC said...

Very true! I've recently embarked on the joys of editing. Great post, and lovely blog! :)

Jen Forbes said...

I'm sure it will be perfect once you give it the once, twice and three times over Mare :)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I was always told to keep it simple and make it fun. Too often I get sidetracked and have to remind myself to cut it short. Edit is a good word in many ways.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Keep moving forward indeed, because editing can seem endless and if we're not careful we can edit the life out of a story.

Andrea said...

Great advice...sometimes you just have to hit publish!

Amy said...

Agreed! Especially if you're a perfectionist :)

Jaime said...

I have three works in progress. They seem endless but I'm starting to realize that I actually have to work on them to finish them:)

P.S. I just emailed you - it sounds like we might be neighbors.

Nancy Mock said...

Great advice and definitely true that editing never ends until you just walk away!
Enjoy the A-Z Challenge!

Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six
2014 A to Z Challenge Participant

Kenya G. Johnson @ KenyaGJohnson.com said...

Ugh I'm a tinkerer.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yeah I so get this

D..J. Kirkby said...

Wow, great post! Thanks for the boost and the inspiration to keep moving forward.

Lynda R Young said...

Being in the thick of editing at the moment, I really liked this post. I could tinker forever, but if I did that, then no one would read my stories!

Fivehearts Onefamily said...

You are an excellent writer. I'm catching up on blogs from my busy weekend which means I usually read the most recent post and move on. But I keep getting suckered into your posts - which is a good thing of course. lol

As for editing, you are completely write. Or right. Hehe. I went to college for media production and really enjoy making short films putting home videos together - not that I do that much these days. But editing is literally endless. I just have to stop at some point.

Art is never finished.