Over-editing, hand-cut collage by Diana Zahuranec

When No Structure Is a Good Thing

A person can only tinker with a completed book or story for so long before losing the forest for the trees. Once I reach this point, I edit at the risk of ruining my original vision. It’s alarmingly easy to tip over from “not enough” to “way too much, congratulations, now it’s a hot mess.”

For several years, my one writing focus was The Book, the one I’m now querying agents for: the research, plotting, writing, editing, polishing it was my de facto project. I liked to sit down to write knowing my efforts were channeled to furthering this dream, this book. If I felt like “procrastinating” and researching, the time spent was still supporting The Book. If I sat down and decided to just map out new ideas without writing anything more on the page, it still felt like progress because I was moving the needle on the plot line. 

The biggest complaint from writers is not having enough time, but I do havethat time because I’ve successfully created a habit to write in the morning hours…just, now it feels suspiciously aimless. I have the drive and eagerness and discipline to write, but I don’t have the direction. And I don’t like how that feels.

(Show me you’re a Type A without telling me you’re a Type A.)

“Over-editing” hand-cut collage by Diana Zahuranec. See more collages and acrylic I do at @dianaz48_art.

Read the rest of this post (and some of my favorite recommendations on prompts, workbooks, and more!) on my Substack newsletter: Follow that story.

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