Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.
About twelve months ago I wrote a post in which I referred to the editing process as the bane of my existence. And at the time it was. I went through a phase where all I wanted to do was create. It didn’t matter if what I was producing wasn’t the best quality, I just wanted to pump out pages and pages of my thoughts and lay my soul bare for the world to see. I would write stories that had no purpose or point; they would simply waffle on and on until a cataclysmic event bought the story to a close. I never wanted to edit. The very idea of tracking back over my work and ratting out the imperfections filled me with a sense of foreboding so great that I would do just about anything to avoid it.
But lately I’ve been working back through one of my pieces with the help of my editor to smooth out the finer points of my plot lines and layout, and I’m actually really enjoying myself. I think that the reason behind my sudden over-zealousness for editing stems from an idea presented in the header above by Start with why author Simon Sinek. The concept of Sinek’s quote is simple. If you are passionate about something, and by passionate I mean you truly love what you are doing, then you immerse yourself completely in the task at hand and enjoy the hours of hard work required to reap a reward. If on the flip side you really don’t give a shit about what you are actually doing, then all that hard work that you are putting in manifests itself not in positivity or achievements, but in stress.
At the time of writing my previous entry where I responded so negatively towards the editing process I was viewing it with a slightly immature mindset that was forcing my works to fall well short of their true potential. I had taken the viewpoint that editing was a tedious, unrewarding task that did nothing but serve as a distraction from what I actually wanted to do: write. But now I’m starting to learn that there are so many wonderful benefits to the editing process, and that if I do want to excel at my craft, then I need to learn how to not only embrace the concept of editing; I need to learn how to fucking own it.
Right now this whole editing thing is quite cathartic. It’s allowing me to really go back and re-evaluate a piece that I spent years creating, as well as analyse myself as a writer. And while my previous edits have been ego-filled affairs in which I’ve poured over my work and told myself just how fucking great I am, this time it’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery, aided by the kind and sometimes brutally honest words of my editor. I’m sure that at some point I’ll fucking hate the editing process again; it’s just how the world works. But writing is my passion and editing is a large part of being a great writer. So far all the hard work and hours that I’m dedicating to polishing my script is already reaping great reward. I’ve just to starve off that stress until I’m satisfied that my script is all that it can be.