There isn’t much more to say: editing is full-on teenager-whine, rolled eyes and stamping feet, tedious.

Some people like editing. They like seeing their prose fresh and clean, unsullied by weakness and weasels. I get that. I like cleaning–well, tidying, but also washing dishes–for that satisfaction of putting everything in order.

And I assumed I’d get the same satisfaction from editing.

That was incorrect.

Sitting down to write requires a bit of time to ease into a routine. Sitting down to edit never requires anything less than tears and bargaining. Guilt trips and public shaming. If you said to me today, “Which would you rather do, clean a toilet or edit”, I would clean the toilet. No hesitation. Guilt, sure. Knowledge that I was failing myself, definitely. Facepalm at the procrastinating-disguised-as-house-chores, absolutely (after I’d washed my hands, of course). But I’d still pick the toilet. Every time.

I wonder if I need to go somewhere out of the house to edit. Closing the door to the workroom is enough to focus on writing, but it’s not enough to save me from the itchy boredom of line editing. Trouble is, I find coffee shops very hard to work in (the commotion is distracting). Perhaps the library?

My dream is to be successful enough at selling fiction that I can afford to go off to an office. Preferably one with no internet. It’s a long way between there and here, and that road is paved with too many adjectives and shrugs. (My draft 0 characters shrug. A lot. Possibly even more than they glance at each other. When they’re not shrugging, they’re nodding.) I have to learn to edit, if only to wrassle my Draft 0s into something readable by human beings. I have to learn to get better. There aren’t shortcuts. I know that. But I have to find a way to hack the process, to if not make it fun–such a goal seems impossible, a feat for wizards–then at least bearable with a cup of coffee in hand.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my blog post.

…why yes, I did intend to edit when I first sat down. How did you know?

Published in blog


Victoria Feistner is a novelist, a graphic designer, and an artisan in equal parts, although some of those parts are more equal than others. She resides in Toronto with her husband and two fur children, also known as cats.

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