Source (his blog): The “Rejection Response” Poem
I do not edit my writing because I view writing as a spontaneous, organic art. Editors get paid to edit. Emotion drives art, and certainly competence is valuable in and of itself in any area, so I would have to describe to you how I learned to write in a comprehensible way in order to explain how I can write without editing, which I am currently unable to do (I may in the future, but this goes back to the synchronization of my pieces) to explain why I’m confident enough to even undertake the writing if I am going to avoid editing in the process.
In other words, if you were to ask me how I’m confident enough to write competently without editing, I would have to go back into my history when I first began to write, which I am currently unable to do.
As a writer, you have to concentrate. And I mean, really concentrate. At least, if you want to be good at writing. And I am terrible at concentrating. In some ways, I think that my sporadic, inattentive mind is a big reason why I’m as creative as I am. But it’s also why I’m so careless. And I make mistakes. Quite frequently. I don’t like to go back and reread what I wrote because it’s almost as if there’s a different neural pathway that is developed in my mind from when I initially create to when I edit. When I initially create (and I try to plan in my head before I begin the creation, although many times, the time from idea to creation is almost instant), I feel very excited and happy. But going back and looking at my creation makes me sad. The excitement is gone. It could be said that when one edits, one is still “creating”, but it just doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels like I’m creating a completely different piece: one that isn’t “exciting”. It feels mundane and dull. Historically, I have been dissatisfied with my own editing because I have found that my ideas change from initial creation to edit. And I, most of the time, enjoy my initial ideas better. So, I have to go back and make changes, but it’s hard for me to “remember” that intial, creative spark. So, I become frustrated, thinking that my best writing was my first writing.
I realize that to most writers (and especially to most readers), this may seem crazy. But it’s true. I try not to write something until I have something formed in my head, and then I want to spontaneously capture that on paper. To me, the writing process is not a time to “develop”. That all occurs in my head. Writing is a time to capture; it’s not a time to create new ideas, but to dictate the old ones. To me, a good idea stews and stews and stews in your head long enough until it’s good, and when it’s good, it’s simply a matter of finding the time, energy, and ambition to write it. As I’ve said, it’s not that I don’t develop spontaneous ideas as I write. But I don’t like them to develop as I edit. It changes things far too much for my taste. I’m content with giving my works to an editor to look for simple grammatical mistakes, while putting back in all of the flavorful sentences that the editor initially wanted to tweak.
I do not understand people that edit their works. I can understand clearing up grammatical errors, but I don’t share that feeling they have when changes in the direction of the piece occur. Maybe it makes me a bad writer (it probably does), but I don’t want to edit. I want to mentally stew, then physically spew.
I envy people who carefully take the time and effort to edit. Many of their works are wonderful. But my writing just did not develop that way over time, and honestly, I want to try this out. To experiment.
Maybe that’ll make my writing shitty, but I’m ok with creating shitty things as long as I get some happiness from them.
I understand that there’s something to be said about the ease with which readers can understand your words, but I derive an aesthetic pleasure from my works (in all of the various forms of media which I choose to express myself) much like an abstract painter enjoys his painting which no one else can understand.
For how can I make a living if I don’t care what other people think about my work? Or, if even, indeed I purposefully try to make people hate my work for my own amusement? Or to make a point? How can you “make a living” by pissing people off? Or grossing them out?
That’s the experiment that I wish to create.
Anyway, there’s my incoherent piece about editing.
With a comedic ending (of course).
Video editing, however, is a completely different story. I view video editing as “story” telling (mainly, stupidly comedic). Plus, with video, long, boring, unartistic and uncreative clips (from me, the creator’s) point of view really are boring.
…but I don’t want to apply this sagacity to writing.