Editing

Earlier, I revised yesterday’s post about my trip to Sioux Falls. I don’t usually revise my posts after the fact let alone edit them before I put them up. I will wait for you to recover from your shock over that particular revelation.
I’ll be honest. I don’t edit my posts in part because I am lazy and editing is work. However, there are other reasons for my decision to publish posts without much editing.

My audiobook reviews are always edited although I am not the person who edits them. My friend Melissa edits all of those posts. I want those to be edited because I want them to be more professional looking. I figure if I am ever going to get noticed as a book reviewer, it will be because of a book review I have written. I just don’t believe that someone will read about my trip to Sioux Falls and determine that I would make a good book reviewer.

Why don’t I edit the more personal posts? This stems from the fact that I am a pretty poor editor. Yes, there are things that I can do without much of an issue. Things like spelling, grammar and elimination of redundant wording are easy enough for me. If that were all that went into the process I would be alright but there is more to it than that.
When I edit I make a mistake that I think hurts me and does a disservice to my readers. I have a bad habit of editing out anything related to feeling or anything that might be controversial.
Going back to edit a post allows me the chance to second-guess myself and it is a chance I often take. I look at a sentence that describes how I was feeling and wonder if I was right to feel that way. If I have any doubt I take out a sentence like that and am thus not really being all that honest in my writing.

I take out statements that could be potentially controversial because I don’t want to get dragged into an argument. It is not because I am unable to defend myself when the need arises. I was on the debate team for three years in High School and I know how to argue my case. This does not mean that I particularly enjoy arguing.
I don’t write about politics on my site very often because I have no strong desire to engage in arguments about politics that drag out and don’t accomplish anything. I can easily defend my stances on any number of issues from abortion and gun control to imigration and rights of the disabled. Outside of rights of the disabled, I don’t care much to discuss any of those topics. Since I can choose what I write about on my own blog I choose to avoid those issues.
Still, if I think a statement I’ve made in a post could get me in to trouble or result in an argument I am most likely going to take it out. If I am i an angry or defiant mood while editing then I will leave it in, I am not above periodic bouts of petiness.

Here is the biggest reason that I don’t like to edit my own posts. I feel that my first drafts are often the most accurate reflection of who I am as a person. As much as it pains me to admit, I can be redundant in my speech. I can also phrase things in an awkward manner that makes it difficult for others to follow my train of thought. Filtering out redunant speech or rewording sentences for clarity makes my entries start to feel like someone else wrote them. I like that my entries are unfiltered and feel very raw at times.

I realize that the more editing I do the better at it I will become. However, removing controversial statements or second-guessing my own feelings is more of a personality issue. I don’t think being a better editor will help me in that regard. In fact, an argument could be made that it would only make those problems worse.

I would like to make my entries look more professional. I know that if I am ever to be a professional writer I will need to be more aware of spelling and grammar. I hesitate to go too far with that because of my fear that I will start to trade honesty for professionalism. I’m not sure that is a trade I want to make. I would rather have a sloppy but honest post than one that is well written but absent all emotion. Perhaps the day will come when those two things will not be at odds in my writing but for now it is a choice I must make whenever I publish.

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3 thoughts on “Editing

  1. I love editing! But you are right about the second guessing of the edit – taking out the passion and controversy. However, if you know this maybe you can factor it in. Good luck anyway!
    Alan

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