My Writing Journey

Five Normal Emotions To Experience When You’re Editing

If my title sounds like I’m trying to convince myself of something, you’re absolutely right: I am. As I mentioned in my first post for 2018, I have a lot of things on my to-do list this year. So far, I’ve spent majority of my time editing. And now that I’m heading toward the end of editing for one project, I thought I’d write about what editing has made me feel like. Firstly, because I can write about it now without rocking back and forth, and secondly, because I know that many of these emotions are not unique to me.

1. Excitement

This usually comes when I know that I’m going to get to take another look at the project I – more often than not – am still in love with. But it also usually happens at the tail-end of another project that I – more often than not – am sick of. As soon as I finish the current project, however, emotion number two sets in…

2. Trepidation

Again, this happens after I end a project and am about to dive into the edits. Almost immediately, I become terrified that the editing  won’t go well. In fact, at this point, I’m pretty sure I’ve written the worst book ever. Even though I haven’t read a single word of it.

3. Disappointment

At this point, I have read a single word – likely more – and I realise that I have, indeed, written the worst book ever. There’s just so much that needs to be changed, updated, or bettered. There’s just so much work. And though it makes little sense, I’m disappointed that things aren’t easier or that they aren’t going quicker. Generally, this emotion lasts the longest.

4. Acceptance

When I eventually work through my disappointment, I move on to acceptance. I accept that the work I needed to do made the book better. I accept that even more work might need to be done so that my readers can get the *best* book possible. It’s easy to accept because at this point, I can see the book coming together. Also, it usually comes with the hopeful thought that maybe I haven’t written the worst book ever.

5. Anxiety…and excitement…and anxiety

It’s no secret that I’m an anxious person. And the anxiety when you’re ready to query or submit a book is a unique kind. Because I’m excited about the prospect of people reading my hard work…and at the same time, I’m anxious about people actually reading it. This feeling doesn’t go away no matter how many books I’ve written. I suppose it’s still early days, but I think I hoped when I became published that I wouldn’t be wracked with such anxiety anymore. (Sorry, aspiring-to-be-published authors; that doesn’t happen!)

Fortunately, you eventually get to the point where you realise your emotions are completely normal. You’re not alone in whatever you’re feeling when you’re editing; we all go through it. But we also all survive it.

Which emotions do you feel when you’re editing? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook!