I Should Be Editing….


October 25, 2010 by Renee

While writing, I can leave the internet on, the television, work in the center of the chaos that is my living room and not be distracted once. Not once. Well, if there’s blood, I’ll look away from the writing to make sure it’s not life threatening, but only blood will pull my attention from my work.

Editing is a different animal. While I’m editing, pretty much anything can persuade me to stop and check it out. Oh, look there’s something on the carpet. I should check that out. Pretty leaf on the sidewalk. We should go for a walk while I’m up. I have mail! Oh, just five minutes to check my email and then I’ll go back to rewriting. Well, maybe after I’ve checked out Goodreads…and Twitter…and…yes, this is how my mind works while editing.

This is a huge problem, folks. You know why? Because I’m about three books ahead of myself. Three fully polished and ready for that crackerjack agent who is able to see my brilliance and three more waiting for…me. They’re calling “Renee, please clean us up. We’re so dirty and stinky. Please, make us shiny and sparkly and impossible to resist. Please…stop looking at the damn email!” This is a relentless chant in my mind. I know I need to finish them, but I’d much rather start that new project. After all, there’s a file full of those completely outlined and ready to write. What about those stories? They need to be born. The others are just smelly, they can wait. You can’t stop birth, right? I must. I have to. Or else…what? Actually, I’m afraid I’ll never get to them if I don’t do it now.

Today I’m rewriting Albertsville, a manuscript I finished a couple of months ago. It’s about 8000 words too short. I forgot scenes. What? It happens. I got all excited and forgot to look at my outline. So first, I must add these scenes, which are very important to tying the loose threads up, and then I must go through and pick it apart. Get rid of echoes, crappy dialogue, and all of that really boring stuff. Sigh. Oh and let’s not forget Jack is waiting, and Rowan. They aren’t pleased either. Jack has sat gathering dust for a year, Rowan about six months and both are great stories. In fact, aside from Wade Bowen in Dirty Truths, Jack is my favorite character so far. I love him. I just needed time to separate myself. My problem I guess is that I get new ideas and tend to become obsessed with new projects.

Oh and let’s not forget paying the bills, kids, life, and all that. Those things jump in just to piss me off and mess up my mental schedule. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, running and running but getting absolutely nowhere. Ugh.

I’m such a whiner. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this. Does anyone work on just one project from start to finish? How do you do it? Are you medicated?

Oh, and some good news, We are Canadian has honored me as their member of the week. Thanks Tanya. I’m really flattered that you’d want my mug up on your home page for a whole seven days.

Really, I’m going back to Albertsville. Things are getting hot there, despite the snow. There’s a lonely moose, a murderous town official and a randy city boy in love with a country girl who just betrayed him…let’s not forget the mill foreman in love with Calvin, his shift foreman.


14 thoughts on “I Should Be Editing….

  1. Ref: Does anyone work on just one project from start to finish? How do you do it? Are you medicated?I hate being pulled off the job I started. It's been happening more and more often now that I'm juggling more projects. But I don't like it.How do I do it? I am extremely focused. The misinformed call it, anal. Yeah, whatever.

  2. Renee Miller says:

    No, not anal. I'm jealous. My brain feels unused if there aren't a million things going on at once. I'd love to have the satisfaction and peace of mind that comes with finishing something before moving on to the next.I need some of that focus stuff. Lots of it.

  3. JEFritz says:

    I know. Editing is so tedious sometimes. I go "Well, it's been almost an hour since I checked twitter. So I should…" Maybe you should try a crit partner. Someone who needs my input pushes me to edit their book, and then with the notes they give me, I have more to focus on. The threat of deadlines also helps a lot:)

  4. Gwen says:

    A bomb could go off while I'm creating and I'd be only marginally aware. I'm often multi-tasking projects, but that never seems to be a bother.OTOH, while I'm editing my own work or the final draft of a project proposal, I have to be in the office with the door shut and the ringer off. No noise, no interruptions. Why, I'm not certain… It's just the way I work best.I love the 'threat' of 'deadlines.'

  5. Suzy Turner says:

    LOL… I have the same problem. I wrote my novel quite easily, giving myself deadlines each week but now that I have to seriously edit, I seem to be finding just about anything else to do instead. I guess it's just the nature of the beast! Anyway, I'm loving your blog so much that I've given it a 'blog award'. You can check out my link to it on

  6. Renee Miller says:

    Wow Thanks Suzy…it was Clive wasn't it? I'd love a blog where I got to see him every time I visited too. I wish Clive had a blog. But seriously, I love awards. I shall compile my list and answer these questions.

  7. I share Maria's suspicion. Are you medicated? High? (I know you're tall but that's not what I mean.) Come on… what do you want? To finish and polish a full novel every two months?Congratulations about the nomination! By the way, a little bird told me you may have even greater news in store…

  8. Renee Miller says:

    Is it too much to ask to finish one every couple of months? Really? I'm being what? Well…fine. I'll have to lower my expectations for myself I suppose.And Carlos, you are always ahead of the grapevine. I might have news…I hope I have news, but it will have to wait until it's official. I will say, no I haven't found that highly astute agent yet. But it's just about as exciting.

  9. Nicki Elson says:

    Hey, there are a lot of posts about editing today. What's up with that? I'm actually the opposite of you, I am doctor distracto when it comes to sit down and pound the manuscript out but become completely absorbed in the editing phase. Loved your cartoon at the top.I'm not medicated for focus, but I'm willing to give it a shot. 😉 Hey…why are you reading this? Get editing!

  10. Renee Miller says:

    Busted! Damn…er, I was editing, but decided that your comment was far more important…I'm going. **grumbles** ooh, brownies.

  11. The only one??? I thought I was reading something I'd written myself!

  12. Renee Miller says:

    Phew! So glad I'm not alone. We should start a support group, call it "Writing, Editing, and–oh, Shiny Anonymous" We should meet daily, hourly even. Maybe on Twitter or Facebook. You know, just to make sure everyone is staying focused and working efficiently at polishing their work. I think it's a great idea. I'll bring the chips.

  13. Three manuscripts ahead? Wow! Aw, they're not dirty and stinky. They're beautiful! Just need a little bit of polishing. 😉

  14. Renee Miller says:

    Beautiful, dirty and stinky. The outlines refuse to go anywhere near them, because they know it's contagious. Poor things. But slowly they're gathering a more pleasant aroma.

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I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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