I'm stuck in an editing hole, and not only am I not editing the things I
need to edit, I'm not getting anything done.
I'm at a point where I have about 25 things on my personal task list,
and 16 of them are editing related tasks: edit the article in this file,
edit this fiction, edit this documentation, edit these would-be-blog
posts, and so forth. It seems like I went on something of a six month
writing bender, and while I did a little bit of editing during this
period, I have clearly fallen behind.
There are a number of factors:
1. I've been making a point of putting editing tasks on the todo list
because I want to make sure that I actually finish projects rather
than just abandon them. I've not been particularly good with follow
through in the past few years, so that's been a big personal
The sad part is that my editing queue is probably 10-20 times larger,
but I've got some projects on the less-actionable back burner.
- I'm not a very good editor.
I'm awful at copy (or otherwise) editing my own work, and while I know
that I've become better at this in the past few years. I still know that
it's not perfect and so it seems sort of futile, which makes it hard to
get inspired to do editing.
3. I find writing to be rewarding, and given the choice I will probably
always choose to write new stuff. While this is clearly a learned
response to the kind of work, this doesn't make the effect any less
- I find editing to be really difficult work.
This is probably related to #2, but editing wears me out. I find it
difficult to spend long periods of time editing, which makes it
difficult to make any really substantial progress on the pile of editing
As a result, I take a long time to edit things, I'm most effective at
editing in short bursts. I often want to break up longer editing tasks
with other kinds of work just to keep a clean mind set. After a week or
so of this, I have almost everything else done on the list, leaving me
with a big pile of editing that looks even bigger for the lack of other
things on the list.
So now, I'm trying the following:
1. I'm working on making editing tasks smaller, which will turn into
more editing tasks, but it'll be possible to face editing tasks in
units less than 10 or 20 pages.
- Make more tasks for other projects.
There are two ways to get stuff done: 1) You can be really focused and
work on one project at a time until it's finished, or 2) you can be
working on a lot of projects in parallel and when you start to loose
focus, you switch to another kind of project. The idea is that you end
up getting more done because you're being productive more of the time. I
subscribe to the second theory.
Here's hoping it works!
Onward and Upward!