Editing. I swear it will be the bane of my existence. I hate editing. I absolutely abhor rereading my work. I hate tearing it apart. I hate beating it with a pen into submission. I hate going line through line and trying to figure out the grammatical errors. I hate rereading dialogue out loud to hear how it sounds. I hate typing things up after I write out my notes. I hate all these things, but it makes my writing better.
I used to have a much worse relationship with editing and criticism than I currently do. I remember when I was in High School, Joel and I would get into huge arguments over the most minor critique on my work. It was my baby, and I refused to let anyone else tell me how to raise it. We would stop talking for months at a time because these arguments would escalate into childish stupidity. Now, I mostly concede that he’s right about things. (See Joel, I told the world you’re right.)
College helped this a lot. It was hard each day to go to class and have them read over your work. They would break it down and sandwich compliments between the harder critiques. It was a good start to helping break down my writing and create a more finished piece.
The biggest help I got was the writing group here in Jersey City. Jersey City Writers would read over my work and be honest. They were a great group of people who just want to help others progress in their writing. The prompts we did every other week allowed me to read my rough work out loud and people would comment on it and hypothesize about what I could do with it. They are, and were, a great help to making criticisms easier.
My biggest editing help is obviously my editor and still definitely, Joel. Charmaine reads my stuff and goes over the little grammatical errors. If there’s any issues or things seem out of place, she instantly lets me know. Joel pulls very little punches, although he’s also still very aware of my feelings. He will apologize if he criticizes something too much, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s not an attack on me. He really wants this piece to be the best it can. It benefits us both if I get it completed. Our work of sixteen years will be done.
I have to be okay with tearing pieces of things apart and putting them together. I have to be okay with rewriting entire pieces to fit new information put in at the beginning. I have to be okay with the nip and tuck of it all. I can do it. It just takes work.
I do not have to like editing. I have to respect it. I understand that the hard work will definitely pay off in the end to make the best story I can make. I just have to force myself on to get to that point.