Friday, June 17, 2016

Writing vs. editing

It's funny, but most people say that I'm better at writing about editing than I am about writing about writing.

They say that writing and editing are different; they're apples and oranges.

And they say they want to learn to write, not edit.

It's true that I write better about editing than I do about writing. I know it well. (I know writing well, too, but stay with me.)

Writing and editing are NOT different; they're two parts of the same process.

Novelist James Michener said that he was an okay writer, but he was a terrific re-writer (I'm paraphrasing here). He got his story/book/whatever down on paper and then went back and edited, edited, edited. And he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his first book, ''Tales of the South Pacific,'' a collection of stories he began while he was in the Navy during World War II.

When I was a newspaper man, I wrote quickly, finished it, then went back and fixed it. If I didn't have time to edit, my writing was OK; if I had time to edit, sometimes it was really well done. (I still write this way; I'm just not a full-time newspaper man.)

Like you, I wanted to be a writer, not an editor. But I learned that I have terrific editing skills, and that makes me a better writer.

Write on.


Entries from The Dog Blog

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

No comments:

Post a Comment