Friday, September 7, 2018

Editing: The Gnat of Writing

image from open by Firkin

Recently, I've been writing more quick articles and reviews.  In the past I posted them with no grammar check because I'm not married to any of these little blurbs and editing is exhausting.  If I have to spend hours checking every little thing, I'll never get content out.  All bloggers, writers, and curators know lack of content is a death knell for our livelihoods.  I can't be relevant without constant production.

During this revival, I've realized that having sound content may be as important as having consistent content.  My "personal brand" can't be littered with typos.  What sane editor wants to deal with that?

My blog may be the only time someone sees my writing.  If they don't like the tone and structure in a small informational blog: how will I get them to read a short story or a novel?

To combat my slipshod internal voice, I'm using ProWritingAid on all my blog posts, book reviews, and stories.  This wasn't an easy decision for me because I'm resistant to editing.  It takes longer to edit than it does to write.  It's draining, and it makes me question my ability to be a published writer.  Who would put up with all my little mistakes when there are so many authors who must have a more sophisticated grasp of proper grammar?

Surprise, I don't hate running everything through a grammar check as much as I'd imagined.  There are points that hearten me even.

1. The editing process takes less time the more often I do it.

2. I think my grammar is better.  I'm catching myself more before I hit the editor.

3. I have basic serious mistakes that are crippling my work.

-Example one, I can't keep capitalization consistent for shit.  Don't know why I can't decide if I'm creating a title or if something is a proper noun, but my capitalization consistency is terrible.  It takes a stupid amount of time for me to do a consistency.  No wonder an editor doesn't want to pick me up.  What a flipping nightmare.

-Example two: I can't stick to writing numbers out or typing the word down.  Thankfully, this won't riddle my creative writing but it's all over the blog and I wonder if it exhausts readers.

-Example three: I use two or more adjectives that mean the same thing.  At one point in time, I thought using so many adjectives controlled the tone and drove the reader to my conclusion.  Now I see I'm holding too tight to the reins.

-Example four: I have too many sentence fragments.  This one is the most difficult.  My storytelling style borders on the poetic.  Fragments belong in my work.  But, I may rely too on flow to instill story.

-Example five: I don't use article a or the half as much as ProWritingAid believes I should.  This one I'm still fighting the good fight.  A and the are unnecessary and take away from the tone I want to achieve.  Who knows, maybe the repetitive nature of the feedback will change my mind?

Now that editing takes less time, and I can catch mistakes before I use a check, I resent the process less.  Part of me looks forward to editing because it means I'm one step closer to submitting.

What about you?  Is editing less daunting over time?  Do you have common foils you need to overcome in your writing?  Speak up ^_^

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