Any writer will likely tell you that the editing process can be both intimidating and time consuming. So often the excitement of officially finishing a manuscript is at once diluted by the realisation that this means we must embark on the painstaking task of revising our work to try and iron out any errors and polish the quality of the content. To put it bluntly, it simply isn’t much fun; completely contrasting with the immersive delight that comes with actually writing.
With several projects I’ve worked on in the past, most notably the first book I released, The Vessel, I got into the habit of editing as I went. Of course there were still major revisions and repeated tweaks to be made once the initial draft was complete but my routine generally consisted of a solid block of writing, followed immediately – or sometimes the next day – by reading over what I had just written and fixing any glaring mistakes such as typos and repeated words. It may have only made a small dent in the overall workload but I liked the idea that I was at least lessening the burden, making it somewhat less daunting when the time came to delve fully into editing.
With my current work in progress however, I have abandoned my usual habit and opted instead to focus solely on my first draft as a means to get the story out of my head, leaving the entirety of the editing to later in the process. I must say I am enjoying the feeling of progression and continuity this has allowed but know I may doubt my decision a little when I have to start looking back over what I have produced.
Do you prefer to edit as you write, or do you leave it all until after your first draft is finished?