Ready, Set, G…Uhm, Hold On

hand

I have no reason to procrastinate.  I spent an hour or two last week discussing my short stories with my mom.  After our discussion I went through the list of stories I have written and came up with a final list for my short story collection.  Last night I copied each story I chose to its own Word file so I can start editing.  In my opinion the stories are still pretty much just first, rough drafts.  Some are more polished than others, but some are very rough around the edges.  I want to do at least one rewrite, possible two, on every story and do up to three or four drafts of some of the roughest.

So, where to begin?  I know, start at story #1 and do a second draft.  If I feel momentum, I might write the third draft, but then move on to story #2 – I want to attack each draft with a fresh mind.  Sounds easy.

Well, I had least a third of the stories in mind to include a few months ago.  These were sure things.  I had planned on editing them.  Really.  But it just never happened.  I always said, “I can’t do it until I know all of the stories.”  That was obvious just an excuse to procrastinate.

There were a few times I sat at my computer, opened up a file and was suddenly distracted.  An hour later I came back only to be pulled in a different direction.   Then an hour later, I turn on my electronics (musical instruments and such) and it is over, once the instruments are on there will be no writing or editing for the foreseeable future.  Yes, I “get lost in the rock and roll and slip away,” though few would call the music I play “Rock and Roll”.  Turning on my musical equipment ends any hope of doing anything the rest of the day besides playing music.

Why do I procrastinate so much?  One thing is I hate, HATE editing.  Writing is fun, editing is work. Doing a good job editing is hard work.

Another thing is, my mind sees this huge pile of stories and gets boggled.  Yes, I know I can only edit one story at a time, one line at a time.  Sometimes I think the brain is stupid.  It sees a large task and instead of breaking it down and just getting started it pushes it back, I guess hoping it will go away.  In the long run, that makes the task even bigger and harder which makes the brain push back more.  Once started the task continues to get easier, but the brain doesn’t want to even start.  Why does the brain do that?  I wish I knew.

Anyway, so I have the stories lined up.  Tonight I am going to start the editing process.  I am.  Really.  Come on, stop saying that, I’m serious.  Tonight will be the night….

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15 thoughts on “Ready, Set, G…Uhm, Hold On

  1. Pingback: Angelo Lanciotti posted blog posts | Travel Plan

  2. Master of Something Yet

    I’m with you on the editing. Loathe it. Even at school I rarely did multiple drafts of anything. When I was working as a tech writer, the worst jobs were the ones when you had to update already written material. Even worse when it wasn’t your writing to begin with. Ugh. I don’t envy you.

    Perhaps if you prepared a schedule of which ones you’ll edit when? Might help break it down.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I don’t have a schedule, but i do have certain “milestones” in my calendar, like “80% complete by this date” type of thing. Yes, I’ve been doing too much project management ;)

      Actually, once I’m into doing one it isn’t terrible – I rewrote a story last night and survived. Editing someone else’s writing? No thank you, that sounds painful.

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  3. pennylanethoughts

    I understand procrastination Trent. With me, sometimes things look insurmountable and that just makes me freeze and do nothing! Something that might help, it to just take it in little pieces. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
    Best to you Trent! You can do it!

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  4. Sarina

    :) lol. Editing is truly a monster task. I’m busy re-writing / editing the novel I drafted in November. The last chapter, okay need up splitting it into two chapters but still, say round about four thousand words took me weeks to get up to a readable level and I’m not even completely happy with it. Spent I don’t even know how many hours on it. Yesterday I looked at the next chapter and though “what a mammoth task and where do I even start.” but the thing is just to start and come back to it and do it over until you are mildly happy to move on. Then when you are done with everything the “joy” starts all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I did a couple of very major rewrites of my book The Fireborn so I know a little what’s in store. Yes, a lot of work! Since this one WILL be self-published within the next several months I need to do a very thorough job before I send it to beta-readers, editors and such.
      Between the rough draft and my fourth draft I doubled the length of The Fireborn – it is a huge huge task with more writing than actual writing, if that makes sense. Good luck with your editing!

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