When the Going Gets Tough…the Tough Edit.

It has been a very long week.

The stress of moving has caught up with all of us. My whole family is tired and cranky. Half our stuff is still in boxes. We have found the smoothie maker but not the blade, rendering the maker useless. We have found most of the silverware. The majority of my bathroom things are scattered between the master bath and the garage in half-open boxes–which is okay, because we didn’t have hot water until yesterday. These are all first world problems, and I feel even worse for being upset by them.

By last night, I’d had it. A combination of early mornings and itchy spots from the swarms of mosquitos in our backyard had both me and JC at the end of our ropes. Once I finally got him to bed, I went to sink into a hot bath with my newly turned on water–only to find water that could be called lukewarm on a frigid day. I put on my robe and my squishiest yoga pants and stomped around the house. I had just decided to sit down and have a good cry when I thought of something better.

I didn’t need to cry. I needed to edit.

I may not know where the lid to my garbage can is, but I know where all my writing is: on a little red flash drive that always–ALWAYS–sits on my desk. When it has to be moved, it goes on my person. For those of you who aren’t writers, this may sound dramatic. For those of you that are–well, I don’t need to explain any further.

Moments later I was facing a list of nearly all the writing I’ve done in my adult life, in various stages of completion. I picked a piece and BAM–it gave my mind something to entirely focus on. It took me into the character’s head, into someone else world. Someone who needed to be walked through things, made more precise here, slightly more direct there. Who needed to think about things and act on things that had nothing to do with the state of my physical house.

It was glorious.

Two hours of editing later, I felt refreshed. I went to bed with no tears having been shed and a readiness to pick it all up tomorrow and keep moving forward–in both the real world and the world in my head.

Do you enjoy editing your work?


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