Editing When You Don't Feel Like It

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
In my last post, I wrote a bit about the new stage of my writing journey: editing.
And, no. Editing has not become in any way easier for me, but I'm making progress. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
Someone commented on that  post saying, "I believe, as with writing, editing also needs you in the right 'mood' that you enjoy what you are doing."
I agree with this comment. It is a whole lot easier to get work done on a project when you are in the right 'mood,' but what if you aren't? Or, simply, what if you don't have time? There are only so many hours in a day. I don't have a choice of whether I'm in the right 'mood' or not. I simply just have to do it. Here are three different tricks I used to get myself into the 'editing mood' the reader was talking about.

 1. Look upon your work positively.
You can look upon everything with different angles. Take photography for example. Often taking pictures from new 'angles' can make it look a lot more interesting and artistic.
With editing, you can do the same thing. Once sitting down to start editing you can say, "I'm only a couple chapters into my novel. This is going to take forever. How am I ever going to finish?"
But take a new angle on it. I can look at the five chapters I have edited so far and compare them to the original copy. They've improved. I'm making my story better. There are less adverbs, more description, and I took out the mindless dialogue. I look upon it with hope, and not discouragement.
2. Music.
Music is totally motivational. When my dad does projects he always turns on music and has taught me to do the same. Music can take the boring out of a situation and replace it with a new and exciting vibe. Suddenly doing dishes is a lot more interesting when putting it to an epic movie score.

One website I like to use for different music moods is http://soundfuel.blogspot.com/. They have a vast array of themes that you can use for writing. "Dystopian, motivational, steampunk, and battle scores," are a few of them. The categories have been great for involving me in the emotion of my scenes.
3. Giving Yourself Goals
By the end of the day, I should have a half an hour of editing completed. ...Should. 
It's hard to keep up daily goals, though, because some days are a lot busier than others. So now what? But you see, I also have this monthly goal for January: 930 minutes. Then, like NaNoWriMo, I can catch up on the days I fell behind.
Having a goal to keep me on track is a must. Without a goal, there is nothing to strive for and nothing to achieve. It's very easy to just give up and state, "Oh, I'll work on it another day." (Procrastination is never the key. *says the girl who does it all the time*)
And then, when you make your goal, CELEBRATE! This is the time to drag out the confetti and bake loads of cookies. (Or cake. Or brownies. Or pizza. Whatever food seems to help you celebrate best.)
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Get excited about the work you're completing. If you're using Microsoft Word, use the 'track changes' feature so you can see all the awesome changes your making, and to keep the old work if you decide what you're doing is not such a great idea. Turn off the internet, reward yourself with chocolate --- do whatever it takes to get yourself in the 'editing mood' and attacking that document. (Please attack it gently, though. There's some good in your document, dear reader, and it's worth keeping.)
- Katie Grace
How do you get yourself in the 'editing mood?'
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  1. Editing is SOOOO SLOOOOOOW! I agree that keeping a positive outlook on editing makes it a lot easier and enjoyable. Actually, that works with just about anything in life. Also, thanks for sharing the link to that playlist site. It seems so useful for writing. Trying to ignore the Internet would definitely help as well, but we all know that's impossible...

    1. I KNOWWWWW.
      You are very welcome! I have used it so much for writing. I use the 'motivational' music a lot, just because that's what I need most of the time for projects. :p
      Ha, yeah...

  2. THIS IS SO 1000% GOOD ADVICE. I love it. I would never ever write OR edit if I waited until I was in the mood. >.> I'm just never in the mood. *sigh* So I mostly just get stuck into it and give myself little goals. I like to reward myself with cake too. *nods* It is VERY helpful. Cake is life.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. It's the same with me. Besides writing. I can /sometimes/ get in the mood for that.
      Cake is good. xP
      Thanks for commenting!

  3. Exactly. I would never get anywhere if I waited until I was "in the mood" for a lot of stuff. Sometimes that can suck the fun out of things, though, so I have to be careful. Positive outlooks are very good. :)

  4. Very good advice!
    My modest comment resulted in a very helpful discussion by impressive writers. I will never stop learning.
    Konrad aka Opa

  5. Oohhh... editing. The bane of my existence. (Okay, okay, that MIGHT be an exaggeration... ;) ) These are fantastic tips, though. Thanks for the link to Sound Fuel - I really like it!! :)

    1. I completely understand. Editing is... tough.
      You are welcome! Some playlists are longer than other, but all of them have great songs.

  6. Hi Katie!
    I just stumbled across your blog, and I think it is so cool that you are a Christian teen writer (and homeschooled is even better ;) ), too! I know how hard editing can be (I struggle a whole lot with it,) but the result of the edits are so satisfying. Right now I just finished my fourth round of edits on my own novel, and I am about to start querying agents and working on a final copyedit with the help of a friend. Do you plan on either self or traditional publishing?
    Anyways, I've really enjoyed reading some of your posts, and your tips are really helpful!
    God bless,

    1. Hi Gabrielle!
      I love meeting other Christian teen writers. :) Thank you for commenting!
      Fourth round of edits? 0.0 Wow. How long did it take you to do that?
      I would really like to go for traditional publishing if possible. But who knows how possible that really is. :p We'll see what happens.
      Thank you!


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