Whether you're trying to build a profession out of your writing - therefore asking someone to pay you for it - or you write only for fun and friends, you aren't taking it seriously if you don't redraft and rewrite pieces after they're done. Finish a story, leave it - for a week, a month, five months - and only then go back and reassess your brilliance. That line you thought was sheer Nobel-inducing genius? There's a typo. That witty barb you just knew would have readers laughing out loud and sobbing into their neckerchiefs? It doesn't make any sense. The final scene you love so much you want it on a t-shirt? You'd forgotten you changed the character's job earlier on in the novel and now it's mediocre at best.
My point is that no writer in history has been great enough to sit down, write, and publish. It's not a sign of lack of skill to edit your work - it's a sign that you're getting much better, and being more sensible.
This post is largely inspired (but not entirely, to be fair) by the fact that my book's been going through a lot of edits and rewrites this last month. Friends and family have read the ms. and got back to me with things that I know I couldn't have caught. Lots of typos, yes, but those are the ones that anyone paying attention could catch. No, the things my beta-readers highlighted are the authorial blind spots - the twists and turns of plot and narrative that I, as the writer, was too close to see. You lose sight of certain problems when you're in too deep and you know the story backwards and forwards. Already in my head are all the previous drafts of EREN, including those phantom scenes that no longer exist, or the big reveals that never actually got written, but that I remember. There's been some good catches, too. For example:
- Thanks to a scene cut out long ago, a character walked into the protagonist's bedroom, put a tray down on a chair and proceeded to ignore it and walk out again. The tray once carried breakfast - in the current ms. it remained a random and perplexing gift. It's now gone. Bye bye, phantom tray.
- In a retelling of the Three Little Pigs, the first pig ran from his house of straw into his brother's entirely different and much safer house of... well, straw. Woops. Good catch there. House of wood. I know my stuff.
- In a previous draft, Oli falls and hurts his wrist, and it bothers him throughout the following chapters. That scene was cut months ago, leaving several inexplicable references to his painful wrist entirely missed by me.
And endless other small things - grammar, strange phrasing, confusing pronouns...
My point is, editing has to be done by you and by people who aren't going to offend you by pointing out that your work isn't completely flawless and award-worthy. Yet. And you have to choose not to be offended by criticisms. They'll make your work better and stronger, and why would that bother you?
Patience is probably key. Write, but then use all the will power in the world not to put it up on the net that same day, or send it off to agents and start spending your royalty cheques. Get better at writing by, just sometimes, not writing.