ROW80 Week 4 – Writer or Editor?

My original ROW80 goal was to edit 7 chapters a week (or 1 chapter a day) on the novel Lisa and I are co-writing. This week I finished 10 chapters, and anticipate being able to finish an even greater number this coming week.

Based on a conversation I joined in on via Twitter a couple times this week, I think that my goals might be some people’s worst nightmare. Turns out, not everyone prefers editing their work to the original writing.

Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy writing. I just prefer editing what I’ve already written to the actual process of writing it in the first place. To me, it seems like then the heavy lifting is already done. What’s left is polishing and refining, and I love that detailed, careful work.

What about you? Do you prefer to write? Or do you prefer to edit what you’ve written?



13 comments on “ROW80 Week 4 – Writer or Editor?

  1. I love the creative output of writing, but sometimes it’s hard and painful work!
    I have always preferred editing — both mine and others’ writing. As Marcy said, the “heavy lifting” of writing is already done. Also, editing gives me the satisfaction of making a thing that’s good into something that’s very good — or a very good thing into something that’s excellent.

    • I prefer the writing. Like reading a mystery written by someone else, i need to know where my characters are going and who they will meet along the way. I love finding opportunites for them to share their faith or reflect Jesus to those they meet and interact with. The editing is almost a rewrite and takes a lot of work as I analyse each scene.

  2. I see writing as the raw explosion of thoughts, ideas, characters, plots etc, which is great fun, but the editing is where I get to tweak and refine and polish. I love both equally, although editing some of my older works left to stew a while is less a challenge because it’s easier to see the errors.

  3. I prefer to edit, like you! Although recently I have been very into the actual act of writing, which I think is something ROW 80 is helping me to feel. But for those with the editing preference, you’re definitely not alone.

  4. I agree! Editing is polishing the gem instead of just finding it. Writing drains me so much more. But there is something exciting about letting words flow on a blank page, too.

  5. I prefer writing. Editing is hard. It takes me more time to edit something that to actually write it. I just don’t know what to change most of the times.
    But well done! Not only you achieved your goals but you also managed to surpass them. Keep up the good work.

  6. I prefer writing. What I would like most is if the first draft was a winner and that was that. (Hey, a girl can dream.) However, there is a real sense of satisfaction when editing/rewriting and realizing the new draft is much better. Writing = Enjoyment & Rewriting = Satisfaction

  7. That’s an intriguing question….I actually love the writing, but the editing gets me going. I guess because of that whole “polishing” thing that comes with it. Also, because, for most of my life, I’ve been editing stuff. Editing other students’ papers in college; editing reports of other social workers when I did that career.

    So editing feels normal to me.

    I do enjoy the tweaking, moving things around, and rewriting. Which is a good thing, because I had an epiphany about my second WIP, and now I’m planning to sneak up on the characters and change how I introduce the backstory.

    It’s a good feeling to have edited several chapters. When I was doing it, I thought: how can I measure this progress? Well, just that way…finished editing several chapters.

  8. Wow! I never realized people actually enjoy the editing process! So many of you too! I love writing. I love watching the story unfold before me. But I guess I have to stop and pay attention to the possible joys of editing now that I know how popular it is. =D

  9. I need to write to release the creative monster clawing inside. Although, some days I have to push through.
    But I love to rewrite and polish and polish and polish some more.

  10. I don’t do well with “just writing” so I tend to edit as I go. Somewhat. I guess I prefer editing. I’ve been trying to not be so precise on the writing stage. I mark words I want to change with [ ] to help remind me. I make notes with them too. But I love it when the thought I want finally gets expressed the right way.

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