Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10 Famous Quotes About Editing #IWSG

This is my entry for the Insecure Writer's Support Group...

These days, I'm doing more editing than writing. I hate editing. Looking at all the flaws in my work makes me insecure and frustrated. Maybe you feel this way, too. So here are some quotes from famous authors about editing to get you through it, courtesy of Goodreads.

1. "I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles."  - Shannon Hale

2. "I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me."  - Jeanne Voelker

3. "It’s easy to see what to do once it’s already been done. The difficult time is before it’s to be done, and while you’re doing it. This is the difference between writing and editing." - Jarod Kintz

4. "Editing fiction is like using your fingers to untangle the hair of someone you love." - Stephanie Roberts

5. "Apparently, my hopes, dreams and aspirations were no match against my poor spelling, punctuation and grammar." - Red Red Rover

6. "I have rewritten — often several times — every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers."  - Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory

7. "Editing is like pruning the rose bush you thought was so perfect and beautiful until it overgrew the garden." - Larry Enright

8. "When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest." ― Stephen King

9. "Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear." - Patricia Fuller

10. "Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity...edit one more time!" - C.K. Webb

Did any of these help you with editing? What other quotes do you know about editing? How is the editing process for you?

And be sure to check out the other members of the Insecure Writers Group!


  1. The Red Red Rover one is great! Although I relate to the first one best. First drafts are the most difficult for me. I just want to get everything in place so I can really do something with it.

  2. I just worry about spelling stuff right and not having obvious factual errors or plot holes.

  3. Aloha Nigel,

    Nice one! Love to hear from established authors that they feel the same as the rest of us:)

    GOOD LUCK with the edits and continued success with all your writing projects :)

  4. Nice quotes, Nigel. Love the underwear waltzing.

  5. These are wonderful and so true. The one by Jeanne Voelker made me laugh! :-)


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