Editing, that wonderful process that seems to get longer with more experience. It is like jumping over a never ending row of hurdles, where just when you think you have mastered it, you run head long into the next obstacle. This is by no means a bad experience it just means that I can see my work in more depth.
If I were to describe the process it would be like sifting through a multitude of layers, where some are only skin deep, and others lie far below the surface. When I first started I was focusing on the issues that were only skin deep, barely skimming the surface as I went. Now when I sit down to work through the process I can only describe it as one of the most boring things I have ever done. I find that the shallow issues are less, and the other layers have become more prominent. Hiding just below the surface waiting for someone to find them, and when I do, I wonder how I could have missed them before.
Yet this whole process takes practice, and I am not referring to the simple effort of doing several rounds of editing on the one story. When I first started I felt as though I knew so much, after all I had done a great deal of research. What I did not know is that the bar is a moving beast, at every level it challenges me as though taunting from the side lines. Waiting to see how far I have progressed.
The most important elements of learning how to edit are time, and patience. I feel as though I have run a marathon, only to find that when I look back I see with great clarity what I missed. Perhaps this is a good thing, I will take a deep breath, and let out all the frustration so I can see it that way. When I first started it was like opening a door to a magical world of writing. Now that I have made my way along the path it feels incredible being able to look back, and wonder in amazement at how determined I was to be where I am.