The 10 Emotional Stages of Editing


by Samantha Fenton

A long time ago, I started revising and editing my manuscript. And today… I am still revising and editing my manuscript. Rest assured, there have been many emotions involved. Here are some of them.

1. Excitement. Woooooo! I just finished my first draft! I am going to start editing right now! This won’t take too long, right? Man, I am pumped!

2. Pride. Hey, guess what? I just finished my rough draft. See all these pages with my writing on them? Isn’t it amazing?!

3. Show off. Oh, what’s this? My manuscript. I’m editing it. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here editing. You’re reading a book? I like books. I’m also writing a book. So yeah, I like writing books.

4. Slight annoyance. Okay… this is taking a bit longer than I imagined. It’s kinds tedious – but it’s all in a day’s work. Just gotta keep editing.

5. Confusion. Why is this taking so long? How is some of my work this bad? How many drafts am I going to have to do?

6. Hopelessness. I’m only on page thirty?! That’s not even a third of the way! How am I ever going to get this done? I’ve found a major plot hole and I don’t know how to fix it. Ahhhhhhhhh…


8. Determination. Okay. Okay. I will get this book done. I’ve come too far to procrastinate any longer. I’ll work day and night. I will do this. I will make this manuscript the best it can be.

9. Exhaustion. There’s just so many pages. So many words. It’s so tedious.

10. More determination. You know what? I just need to get to work. Just sit down at my desk and work. It’s the only way this book is ever going to get done. Keep going, keep chugging away. Hard work is the only way – there is no easy way out.

With that determination, you’ll get through it. It’s how I’ve been getting through it.




Alternately titled Emotional Stages of Editing.

Guest post contributed by Samantha Fenton. Samantha lives in Ridgefield, Washington on a beautiful ten acres filled with many beloved pets. Samantha is currently striving to traditionally publish, as well as enjoying her passion for golf.

21 thoughts on “The 10 Emotional Stages of Editing

  1. So, I finished the novel two years ago, pitched and sent out queries, thought maybe I should really put it down as that ‘ first novel under your belt’ kind of thing.
    But now I have a plot idea that I think would improve it.
    Am I hanging on to it too tight?
    Don’t laugh.
    From beginning to now, it’s been over five years.


    1. Susan, If you love it, keep at it. I never laugh at someone else that is going through the same thing that I go through. I am no editor, but I keep at it nevertheless. When I think I have it done and it is perfect, I read it out loud and make more revisions. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes me longer to rewrite, revise, and edit than it does to write the first draft. When I finally finish, I’m still uncertain I’ve done the best I can, no matter how hard and long I worked. The process is a mental marathon.


  3. I hate to tell you this, but without getting the revisions back from your editor, and then the comments from your beta readers, you haven’t gone through half of it yet!
    The Despair stage can last a very long time!


  4. Woo Hoo — I just finished my draft of my third book. YES — I’m excited — NO — I’m not looking forward to the long task ahead of editing. YES — I’m proud of my achievement.

    Samantha, you nailed it. Great post. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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