Editing: Taking Time Off

It was a terribly rainy spring in Ohio. Depressing enough to make me focus on editing poems while hiding inside. I fell down that rabbit hole writers try to avoid and am just now climbing out….

I stopped blogging and reading for 3 months – jumped into editing/hiding and praying I’d emerge with something worth the effort.

Some messy drafts were from as far back as 2013, I kept many hidden away for years to take a break. I knew it was time to review them and wanted a clear head to focus solely on editing. No book reviews or reading to distract from concentrating on my own voice.

It was time to return to the past. There were memories of old friends, pets, dates, and family struggles to sort through. It’s not always easy to face the feelings you spontaneously threw on paper.

Somehow it felt an appropriate task for Spring. “Spring cleaning” you might say as a cliche – but it was also strange to focus on my messy emotions, bring some closure to events, and climb back out feeling…… healed. Reminiscent but revitalized.

I cleaned up about 15 poems into final versions. Ones that I am proud of and satisfied with. (This is counting all the haiku I worked on for a March daily haiku challenge.) The past few months empowered me to feel accomplished and more confident about my pieces, I know every tiny word was chosen with delicate care. It was not rushed editing or grammar corrections at the last minute for these special poems.

It was worth it to say the least. I surprised myself by enjoying the editing process this time around – possibly because I forced myself to focus on it and treat it more as a “hobby” in the evenings instead of a chore. I was looking forward to reviewing my own words as my quiet alone time instead of diving into someone else’s in a book.

Strange? I know. But I would recommend to all writers to at least give it a chance to mix up the typical/routine process and seasonal hobbies.




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