Thursday, March 3, 2011

Editing Makes Me Fat

It's a good thing I'm writing a novel about a heavy guy because it makes me feel better about myself when I eat two peanut butter sandwiches while I'm editing.

Why do I need to eat more when I'm editing?

When I'm just writing a draft, I don't seem to chow like this. I don't seem to need to stop every 20 minutes and gaze at the contents of my cracker and cookie cupboard. Sure, I still love those Girl Scout Cookies creative-process-round and year round (if only we could get them year round I might not have to gorge myself on them mid-winter. It's that old fear my husband blames on being raised in a big family: get the food while it's there, every man for himself!)

So, is there a psychological difference between the creative phase (drafting the novel) and the deconstructive phase (chipping away at that draft)?

I think so.

Today I was looking back over some conference notes from last year and something Nancy E. Turner said jumped out at me:

"Write with your heart; edit with your head."

I think that might be it. When I'm writing that first gush of words, it's a total rush. I can get caught up in the excitement, lose track of time, get lost in the story.

Not so when editing. In editing, every few minutes I have to take a mental breather. It's tough! It's WORK. It's probably true that the difference between writing a novel and writing a good novel lies in the editing. Editing requires more thought, more care, more PAIN.

And, apparently, more Thin Mints.
Now, if only they made me Thin. False Advertising! For shame, you cute little girl scouts!


  1. The fact that the mints are thin only make you eat more. I've proved that time and time again.

  2. @Valerie-Hahahahaha. Someone on fb said "Thick Mints."

  3. My downfall is strawberries with Nutella. It's extra bad because it is virtually impossible to write while eating them. They are a two-handed snack. :). If you were closer I'd share some with you. Happy editing!

  4. Jennifer! I love your blog so much! Oh, the thin mints are always my downfall..

  5. Thanks, Randomanda. I waver between the Thin Mints and the Samoas. Terrible wonderful news: I found a Samoas knock-off right next to the Thin Mints knock-off at Thriftee. Yikes! Year round danger!


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