I love March, not only because it means that spring is just around the corner, but because it is NaNoEdMo, a month dedicated to editing. So many, writers fall short when it comes to self-editing their own work. Let’s face it edits — or at least serious edits — can be time consuming and even painful. We don’t like deleting words, scenes or characters, even when we know in our heart they are not helping the story as a whole or are even hindering it. It is hard to say good-bye and let go.
This is why I love NaNoEdMo: It promotes and provides incentive for writers to sit down an tackle that momentous task of tackling those side plots that go no where, those characters that are flat as all get out, or the bad grammar that clings to your manuscript. While this writing event is targeted at NaNoWriMo-ers, it can be used to edit anything you have laying around on your desk since it has really just become EdMo, or editing month. The goal? Edit for 50 hours during the month of March.
For some the challenge will be easy while for others the 50 hours are bound to be a daunting task, but don’t worry there are forums on the NaNoEdMo website for support in your hours of frustration. The website has moved since I first posted the original list of writing events and can be found here. On it, writers and editors will be able to find helpful articles about the editing process.
Editing is a necessary process, no first draft is ever perfect. It doesn’t have to be painful, and often times, all it takes is turning around your negative thoughts and making them positive: After all, you are polishing your creation, maturing it to perfection. How can you not to be excited about that! Yes, you will cringe at some parts as you go, but then you will have moments where you are in awe of your words and get lost in them. The process if well worth it and at the end very rewarding.
During this month, I will post several of editing related articles in celebration of EdMo. I highly recommend those who have a project laying around to consider seriously giving EdMo a try.