Editing headfuck

What kind of head fuck is editing?
Nothing makes me question why I write more.
It’s like the death at the end of the soliloquy,
The silent note at the end of the score.

It’s the nagging voice that says, ‘I am unfinished.’
The stain on the blushing bride’s train.
It is something in which Hope is diminished.
Self belief comes under great strain.

It’s the questioning of questions and questions.
The cutting of the granite and clay.
The forced turning of creativity’s windmill,
On a breezeless day.

It is divorced from glee and celebration.
It is a hike through a wordy morass.
It’s like running for the fun train at the station,
Then watching it sail past.

Editing is the extra shift on all Fridays
That furrows the lines in the frown.
It’s the purgatory at the end of all my days.
But at least I’ve written it down.


9 thoughts on “Editing headfuck

  1. sonofthemountains 21/05/2014 / 5:27 am

    I believe Douglas Adams had quite a few things to *imply*, if not write directly, about editors and their publisher employers in his works surrounding The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Read as many of those pieces as you can, and you will see a little of what I am hinting at. For instance, a good reference would be his explanation of 1970’s European waiters’ tabs – that the numbers contained therein, which somehow make their way to your table (at least in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe), are the product of an unexplored, unexplainable alternative dimension, existing only within the waiter’s apron, producing numbers that make sense to no one with any understanding of arithmetic.

    Much like editors and their advise (or jobs in general).

    • Curlydaz 21/05/2014 / 5:53 pm

      Mr Adams was a genius. The Editor helping me is luckily brilliant at helping me to write better. Its only hard work because of my own shortcomings. i wonder if those waiters at the end of the universe have numbers for hot girls somewhere in their equation?

      • sonofthemountains 21/05/2014 / 6:43 pm

        Well I wouldn’t be surprised – maybe that would be why the final tally is something that we men can’t quite understand….

  2. A Voice 26/05/2014 / 10:58 am

    Unless you mean to be ironic, which I can completely see given the theme of this piece, ‘pass’ should be ‘past’ in the fourth line of the fourth stanza.

    I can see this piece being quite popular, though I can’t say that I share the same sentiment when it comes to editing. I’ve found the process not only enjoyable but absolutely essential to my writing and I’d encourage a writer of any bend to find a way to make the process a joy. (And I swear to you that I am neither high nor drunk as a write this; I mean every word!) The ability to not just edit but edit well is what helps one’s work to stand out, it’s the mark of professionalism that no one can take away from you even if you’re inappropriately considered and amateur because you’re not published in obscure journals/magazines that few people read. That thought is a comfort to me as I look back on my work, especially pieces for a given collection, and smile knowing it’s a job well done.

    With that said, I’d like to share with you the work and conclusion to two of my uncollected pieces (‘Is-Ought’ and ‘Structural Deficiency’) so you can have a better idea of what I mean and what my artistic process is. Sometimes seeing what someone else does is a help…but, then again, sometimes it’s so different that it’s not of any help. Here’s to hoping that is is of some real help. Both pieces, ‘Is-Ought’ (https://app.box.com/s/iyewtyg9pqesgwhhghwb) and ‘Structural Deficiency’ (https://app.box.com/s/fkhxhh1qk2o3js1in5m8), are available for view at the provided links and in universal .pdf format.

    • Curlydaz 26/05/2014 / 12:07 pm

      Thanks for commenting. I will check out the links.
      No irony was intended, it was a mistake, and one I should have edited out.
      I do understand the inherent value of editing and spend a lot of time doing it. That said, it seems more divorced from the creative process of writing itself and is more grounded in the mechanical, structural and semantic. So do I see it as essential? Yes, I totally agree. Do I enjoy it? No, though I do enjoy the fruits it brings. Within the poem is an acknowledgment that it highlights my inefficiencies (or deficiencies) of which there are many, so I will check out your articles and thanks again for your comments. It’s great to hear from fellow sufferers, whether high, drunk or otherwise.

      • A Voice 26/05/2014 / 7:21 pm

        “That said, it seems more divorced from the creative process of writing itself and is more grounded in the mechanical, structural and semantic.”

        I disagree, at least with respect to my own editing process and this probably owes a lot to how I write. When I sit down to write I almost always write what I call a ‘text block’, viz. a sentence- to paragraph-sized (or larger!) block of text. (This text is a series of complex sentences and, when my writing is deconstructed back to this ‘text block’ form it will read as such. I’ve always enjoyed that.)

        This text block becomes the ‘initial text’ for the piece. I’ll mark off sections for lines and stanzas based on the structure I start to see coming through the text and begin to structure the lines and stanzas accordingly. Much like a sculptor, then, I’m constantly revealing and revisiting the piece until it’s revealed and I’m done.

        You can see this in the two links I’ve share, where, from beginning to end, the entire process is much more than merely mechanical. I have no doubt that this owes much to my particular process and that’s why I share it with you.

        All that said, you’re quite welcome for the comments. I’m the sort that is very frustrated by ‘likes’ from those who purport to have similar interests, offering some presence but no real conversation or criticism.

      • Curlydaz 26/05/2014 / 7:36 pm

        I admire how articulate you are, without being overly wordy or full of conjecture, a rarity in my opinion.

        I tried to access your link but I do not have the appropriate account to access your material.

        One thing I should have mentioned is that I am editing a 120,000 word novel. And that is the source of my headfuckery.

        Poetry is my first love and distraction and I must admit, I work in a similar way to you. I have ideas at the core of my wordblock that are whittled down to their essence. I then work out what that essence means to me and verbalise / write it. A lot of my posts are singular ‘distilled’ thoughts. I find my poems almost come out edited because of that. (Though through pass experience, maybe I should edit them more stringently – ha ha. Mistake intended.)

        I am finding keeping the integrity of my novels structure difficult, especially when I discover plot strands that need altering in multiple chapters. That is the source of my woe.

        Thanks very much for getting in touch. It often helps to get other perspectives, I appreciate your time. Good luck with the whittling. Now… reckon I am going to put down the chisel and pick up the sledgehammer.

  3. howardat58 28/05/2014 / 8:06 pm

    Like !
    But also, perhaps you mean “The forced turning of creativity’s windmill,..”

    • Curlydaz 28/05/2014 / 8:11 pm

      I can feel another ‘edit’ coming on. Ha ha.

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