Unedited, my writing always turns into a ridiculously long train wreck. The last ‘short story’ I tried to write ended up being about 10,000 words, which is more novella than short story. And that’s one of my short ones, too.
Maybe I just think too much. One idea leads to another, and then another, and then another, and suddenly I end up with a story that started as romantic comedy and ends with the end of the world 500 pages later. Then I reread the thing, and usually, my thoughts fall somewhere along the lines of ‘what on earth was I thinking’? Before I proceed to nuke half the words and rewrite the ending so that it is actually somewhat sane, of course.
My blog posts really aren’t any better. The only reason why I can limit myself to anything below 1000 words is because I limit myself on time. I often write blog posts in the middle of doing homework, and so they often end up being written in little spurts, about 10 minutes at a time.
I don’t edit my blog posts after I write them (except fictional pieces).* It’s more personal preference than anything else, even though I edit my essays and other writing until my eyes bleed (not literally).
This blog’s theme is pretty much ‘random thoughts’, and I don’t think they’re as ‘real’ if I keep editing them. My thoughts progress in a particular manner, and as I write, I see exactly how they start from one topic, loop around a bit, and end at some kind of conclusion, even if it makes no sense. I can see what I ended up thinking most about based on where I end up writing really redundant phrases, or where I find myself picking apart little details. My rough drafts are not exactly my cleanest writing, but they are the most honest in presenting my raw thoughts.
For fiction, that is a REALLY BAD idea. Actually, in professional writing, it is probably a bad idea. Raw thoughts are messy, and writing exists to improve communication, so editing becomes a necessity to make sure the meaning of that piece of writing gets across loud and clear. For me, it’s necessary to make sure I don’t repeat the same concept like fifteen times, or go off on little tangents.
But for something like this? Well, the little English teacher in me is yelling at me right now, but I’m not editing it. I haven’t edited any of my blog posts, again, save for fiction, and as long as I keep writing about thoughts about random things, I doubt I will.
It flows more like a conversation then, each individual blog post. When speaking, you have no time to edit what you say, and people often say non-sequitars, or repeat themselves, or spend far too much time trying to clarify one subject. But given that it’s impossible to edit speech (except in recorded interviews and the like), and conversations move on VERY quickly, nobody seems to mind the fact that everyone says weird things fairly often.
With writing, it’s a bit more permanent, and there’s a bit more room for thought. But oh well, I’ve always been told that I write like I talk, so long as I don’t try to cut away too many of the words.
In that way, maybe a rough draft is a bit more ‘personal’ than a final piece? The unedited writing may reveal some more about ourselves than what we turn those words into in the end.
Not that I usually ever want to look at my first drafts again once I edit my stories. They’re altogether far too long, and usually don’t make any sense, anyway.
*I don’t make any content edits for blog posts, but I will proofread to avoid embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes…proofreading is always good! No matter what kind of writing!