Editing: It’ll never be perfect.

I’ve been putting it off for too long. I’ve written my novel last year. It’s there. On paper. The first draft. And you now what? I was happy. I was more than that. I was exuberant. But now I realise it was all a lie. It was all an illusion. Because now…

I have to edit!

I’ve written a few novels in my twenty five years alive  (not as much as say Amanda Hocking..but that’s ok!). What I’ve actually done, is written one that I really care about.

That’s a start.

I believe this wholeheartedly. You have to write, no matter what it is, about something you really care about. Sounds stupid right? Actually, I’ve written lots of things that I don’t care about because they were the “in” thing at that time. Or the latest craze.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Chose a story that is you. Craft and create those characters. It’s ok to emulate – but don’t forget that everyone is different.

Write it. Make it personal. Care about it. Love it.

Why? Because you are going to be constantly reacquainted with that piece of work many many times. Especially during the editing process. And let me tell you – once you truly care about a project – you won’t mind.

You’ll love going back to that world over and over again.

Right now I’m editing the second draft of my children’s novel. I have the outline. I know the plot points and the things I want to change.

However I know it’s constantly going to challenge me. It’s constantly going to put me down and make me feel unaccomplished. I get insecure about my writing too. All the time.

I heard this piece of advice a while back which I am keeping close to my heart and mind. It’s shaping my editing process at the moment. It’s a simple saying that relieves me of all that fear, insecurity and anxiety.

Some things will never be perfect.

It’s the summation of many key pieces of advice from articles I’ve read, writing books and through my work as a Producer/Writer/filmmaker. When it comes to editing a short film, the dictum is pretty much the same.

You’ll always get a “better idea”, a “better sentence” or a “better word” some day.  But it doesn’t mean the original product can’t be – and isn’t – great.

The movie Jurassic Park can be better. It doesn’t stop the original from being great (and shaping my childhood dreams!)

Make mistakes.

Instead I’m trying to think differently. Because whilst you are writing, editing and perfecting – what you really should be doing is learning.

Rather than make it ‘perfect’, I think I am going to make it ‘truthful’. Truthful to what I wanted it to be in the first place. That means letting go of the fact that there will be flaws and just letting it evolve.

The ability to be open to learning – is power.


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