Sunlight Shining Through Cloud

Obsessive Writing: Version 25

Posted on: May 7, 2011

I think I’m a good thinker, so I write. I think I’m a good writer, so I…obsess.  Obsession is unhealthy.  So why do I take pleasure in that which makes me ill?  An enigma wrapped in a conundrum.

I get a thought; I write it out.  Then I look it over several times.  I print it out and examine it.  I publish it, look at it in Facebook, get it sent to me by e-mail and I inspect it yet again.  Each instance of examination merits some additional edits and, perhaps, some additional material.

After a couple of days and several editing sessions, I’m satisfied that I’ve communicated my thoughts in the best possible way, and I leave it alone.  Sometimes, when I re-read it “for pleasure” a couple of weeks later, I find yet other ways to make the words better.  Then I leave it alone.  Again.

Such is the way of things for a writer who also serves as his own editor.

Are editors obsessives?  Are they perfectionists?  Are they word snobs who think they know how to write what you mean better than you can?

This all comes to mind because of a blog post I wrote almost two months ago.  When I wrote (and re-wrote and re-wrote) The Judgment of God: Glenn Beck Version, I thought I’d done some pretty good thinking and the commensurate wordsmithing.  As is the norm, I tweaked it for a few days before finally letting it be.  I’ve read the piece a few times since, and have been bothered a bit by some self-perceived weaknesses.

The platform upon which this blog is written, WordPress, has many useful tools; among them measurements of the number of readers, what the readership is reading, what the readership ate for breakfast, etc.  Another useful tool is a listing of the dates and times on which accumulated edits were updated for each blog post.  One update might contain a half-dozen edits.

How sick am I, really?  It’s two months since I wrote Judgment.  Today, I woke up and couldn’t wait to hit the keyboard again.  I was obsessed with getting the darn thing right.  After several hours of head-scratching, research and re-crafting, I was finally able to hit the Publish button knowing that I had completely, accurately and eloquently defended my thesis.  Then I checked the tool which tells how many updates had been executed for the treatise.  25.  I updated that post 25 times, times maybe 6 edits for each update.

But that was just today.

Over the past two months, the number of updates for Judgment altogether is 47.  47 updates times about 6 edits each equals 282.  All that for an essay containing 1,436 words.

Either I’m incredibly obsessive, or I’m a bad editor.  Or maybe I should just face the truth: I’m a horrible writer.

Nah…I’m just obsessive.  Whew!  What a relief.

1 Response to "Obsessive Writing: Version 25"

You’re a great writer. There is no argument on this as I am always right.

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