The Perils of Editing and Ten Things You Hate About Writing

We writers foster a love-hate relationship with our writing passion.

the-museIf you’re honest, you agree with me. I love my love for writing. But that doesn’t mean I am without doubt or question why I bang away at the keyboard hour after hour. I’m human and prone to far too much introspection. I’m rewriting a manuscript. Need I say more?  I’m in the grips of the darker side of the passion you and I share.

I often wonder how Charlotte Brontë (I’m not a Janeite) would react to the modern writer’s plight. Do you think she’d confess her woes on a blog? Snapchat with her sister? She might even debate Indy vs. Traditional publishing on a podcast. Where would she stand on the topic?  When it came time to rewrite Jane Eyre did she feign a hangnail? Did she even have to edit?

But I digress. When you’re overrun with redlines and edit notes, you need a little love and understanding. It’s difficult to be grateful having reached upward only to find the celestial beings have gone to the Rivera for a vacation and a call center in Mumbai is fielding their calls. It’s a tough pill to swallow when there is no one around to say “there, there, you can do it”. I don’t take comfort knowing I have a gift nor do I understand how it’s supposed to make take away the angst when I’m on page ninety-two of a three hundred and fifty-one-page edit.

The whimpering makes me sound shallow and naïve, but I’m not. The writer inside is intensely aware I’m festering in one of the seven stages of editing hell. I’m not a demanding sort of woman, but when I need a dollop of heavenly goodness, I want someone to answer the other end of the line and tell me what I need to hear. I don’t want Peter or Praveen to ask me to explain my problem and that perhaps all I need to do is to reboot my computer.

Sometimes the writer needs to step away (far away) and reminder her/himself what she loves (and not hates) about writing.

If you’re a movie buff, you’ll recall the lines (which I’ve rewritten below to my love, writing), if not, treat yourself to the two-minute video at the bottom.

Ten Things I Hate About You

I hate the way you keep me up at night
And the way you leave me stranded without foresight.
I hate the way you take control on the page.
I hate it when you sabotage my language.
I hate your manic drive, even your whimsy
And the way you drag me along.
I hate you so much it makes me pray to unknown Gods.
It even makes me write parodies.

I hate it…
I hate the way your fervor pushes me to hone.
I hate it when you’re gone.
I hate it when your magic makes me soar like I can do no wrong;
Even worse, is when you make me feel I belong.

I hate it when you go silent
And the fact that you expect me to carry on,
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you;

Not that I should if I could;
Not that I don’t even when I do;
Not that I want to, even if I could.


What do you love about writing?



I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

16 thoughts on “The Perils of Editing and Ten Things You Hate About Writing

  1. Sandra Dailey

    Great post. What I love about writing is the escape. The opportunity to be someone else, somewhere else.

    • Sandara – you nailed it, Sandra. I spent the weekend drafting an outline for a new idea and found myself giddy with excitement and recharged.

  2. Editing is like seeing a horizon you never reach. You know it’s there…one more step, one more tweak, just over the next rise/paragraph/ scene…or you just get as close as you can, and say – next time!

    • Stephanie, you’re right. While editing my latest project I had one of those 3AM moments about my style of writing. Who knows if the changes I am planning with help me with future projects but I have to try.

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