Writing a novel, consumed in the fantasy of story, lost in the surreal landscape of creativity, is my favorite way to spend time. Editing a novel, however, doesn't leave me with quite the same satisfaction.
When writing, I function as a narrator, standing in the corner, jotting down notes of cocked heads and conversations, doing my damnedest to communicate something that very well may be happening somewhere on this grand planet. But editing is a process stripped of freedom and glamour, and forces me to face any obstacles in my obsessive documentation. The rough draft is what I meant to say; the finished draft is how I meant to say it.
When I edit, I take on the role of this completely separate person, this stranger who is here solely to pick apart every single paragraph and constantly beg of me, "Don't you think you can do a little bit better than this, Michelle?" I must no longer view my writing through the dreamy-eyed gaze of an artist, but must question every word I've penned, looking many of them up along the way. I am no longer here to enjoy the writing process; I am here to perfect my work. And that is a wholly different undertaking than the seductive creation of a first draft.
Crazy as a Loon (Cover)