05 October 2010

Why I Don't Edit

Someone commented a while ago on one of my poems about how the meter of the last line was longer than the rest and so stood out in a bad way, just giving advice on how to edit it. The thing is, I don't edit things I post on my blog. There are few reasons why. It is not that I am insulting my readers and saying you don't deserve the best, it is that you are important to me.
Say someone spends years learning the violin, painfully screeching out each note, causing their family to clap their hands over their ears and run and slam doors to block it. They play the same song over and over. And over. And over. They finally get it right and at their recital they play it. Their family has heard the song so many times they hum it in their sleep, they have resolved to never ever buy their kids another violin, and they have a special drawer for earplugs.
Even for that, who applauds the loudest at the end of the song?

Do you see?

Also, I think blogging is a stream of consciousness. It is different to other media. Just like Twitter has a "science," so does blogging. Most bloggers are honest creative people. I am just being honest by sharing things straight from my head, without editing them.
The truth is, I don't edit. At all. Anything. And I know it is silly and ignorant and stupid but here's the thing...So many people have told me writing is good, that it deserves praise, that I believe them. Truthfully, when I look back at some of my writing it seems so horrid that I think it would have been better not to write it at all. So I listen to those people and think it is good. I send it off almost as soon as I am done writing it. Then it has no chance to slowly change over time to something horrid in my eyes, because someone indifferent has already said it is good. It is like a safeguard, not editing.
I do edit some. As I write, if things sound off I fix them, if a word is wrong, I change it. It is not that I don't edit full stop, just that I don't do that thing where you put in  drawer for two weeks and "come at it with fresh eyes."
I know it's stupid.

1 comment:

sukipoet said...

Interesting to read your comments. Although when I was a writer full time I edited my work a lot, when I post on my blog I do not do much editing and rarely to anyone's suggestions. I agree that a blog is more stream of consciousness, put it out there as is. It is a wonderful place to share things as they are in that moment.

Perhaps at some later time though, you may find yourself editing your work a bit more. Or not.

I have read a comparison between Mozart and Beethovens creative style. Mozart "edited" his work in his head, thus when he transcribed the notes there were no cross outs and changes. It looked like a perfect first draft. However, he had previously done that work in his head.

Beethoven's musical scores show that he worked out changes on paper. He put out a first draft so to speak and then crossed out, revised etc on the page. So we can look back at his scores and see his work process.

Process of creating is different for each person. Who knows how much subconscious editing happens before you even put words to paper??

an interesting post.