Today I noticed something about myself. Aside from the fact I need to be listening to music in order to write, I apparently need something on in the background in order to be able to edit my work. Nope, it can't be music. Preferably, it should be a musical which has enough numbers in it to distract me once in a while yet isn't completely packed. I would watch The Sound of Music as opposed to the anniversary concert of Les Miserables let's say.
Does this quirk make me odder than I thought I was?
I choose films I know backwards. Tonight I sat watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with my script on my knee. I managed to edit twenty-five pages, a pretty concentrated effort for me. Usually I drift off into doing something else while I'm editing.
The trouble is, I like the editing process but I do see it as a never-ending one. I'm never going to be happy with what I write. If I try and edit at my desk I'm likely to overwhelm myself by playing around with my thesaurus and panicking about why my scenario seems faintly familiar. Am I a thief, am I wannabe? By focusing half my attention on something else I can pull back from my doubts and have a decent editing session whilst also entertaining myself a little.
This doesn't work for everything, of course. Some stories require more meticulous attention than others, especially if they're irritating me. If I'm overhauling a plot I have to give it my full attention. And, invariably at this point, Facebook and Twitter get my undivided adoration.
I'm not a lost cause but I am getting close to being a hopeless case.