Many writers have said that they love writing, but that they hate editing and revising. I’ve never felt that way. 

Writing is original creation. It’s hard work, and it’s exciting to see something grow out of nothing. Editing is looking at what you’ve made, realizing that it’s all a jumble, and doing your best to turn it into a story other people will want to read.

But it must be done. If you spend all your time just making first drafts of new stuff, nobody else will read it, or want to, and neither will you after a year or so. You need to take up a different set of tools, and make something good out of it.

There are a few writers who have created only a sketch or rough or first draft, then turned it over to a collaborator to finish it, and to then do the editing and revision and correction and polish. And it works, to the benefit and satisfaction of both. But I would never do that. Nobody could make the story be what I want it to be.

It is hard work, dealing with the wrongness, the mistakes, the holes in the plot, the inconsistencies, the continuity errors, the wrong words, the — hell, the junk and garbage. But I want to get chills when I read that final draft. It tells me that what I’ve done has been worth my time. So I do all that hard work until it really feels right.

It takes more time and effort than raw creation does. But every draft makes the story a little better, and after a while it comes together, and when it does, and I can visualize it, feel it, know the characters as people, share the emotions, get caught up with the flow, and then I get chills. Even if I reread it the next day. I get an immense feeling of satisfaction.

The story I’ve been working on recently gives me lots of opportunities to find satisfaction. Lots. But that’s okay. More chills every day. And as each page and scene and chapter finally comes all together, I know that I will have created a reality that other people can experience. And that makes it all worth while.