This is a short journey. The fact is I’m not horribly fond of the topic. Exercise. I do not like exercise. I do it – sometimes – because it is worth doing. Occasionally, my closet reflects when I haven’t done it enough. The clothes get too tight and I search for the biggest things I have to wear; the things I’ll feel most comfortable in when I wriggle into them. Usually, I blame the clothes for this, not the “me” (who I like a great deal) that eats more than she should because she loves food.
Editing is like exercise for me. I don’t like it much. When I do it, I often start out discouraged that I have to do a LOT of it. Still, it’s necessary and I do it because it is what makes the story I am writing (and like very much) into a story the reader will like too. A good, healthy tale. Secretly, I’m thrilled with my story as I write it, but sometimes there are things in it that aren’t so good for it, as much as I might like them. This doesn’t mean those things are bad, of themselves, they just don’t belong in *this* story at *this* time. So I exercise my book. It tightens up the muscles of the body of my work, making it more effective, more attractive – consequently – and more efficient.
Here's a terrific blog post about Making Your Writing Work by Robin Lythgoe that has helped me with editing. Have a read!