For me, anyway, it’s mostly pain. If you haven’t been following along, I am smack-dab in the middle of rewrites.
When I write, I (usually) have a pretty clear picture in my head of what is going on, and therefore it should be pretty easy to describe. So there’s this lovely little twinge when I see “What the hell is happening here?” off to the side or the always-awesome “you’re better than this”.
What hurts the most is that she’s right. I will read a paragraph I wrote, with a very clear, very specific scene in my mind and have no clue what I am talking about.
And then comes the really hard part (for me, anyway): not writing the same goddamn thing. I have to come up with a new, clearer way of describing something that should have been clear in the first place, with the added challenge of shoehorning it in between the existing structure of the story. Which usually means I have to rewrite a good chunk of the following paragraph(s).
Hemingway can get bent; I want to edit drunk.
But there is an upside to it, obviously. It does clarify and tighten the story. The flow and coherency are always much better. And for as much as I harp on quality in editing from indie publications, my own work damn well better be up to snuff.
It’s a pain to do, time consuming and I usually hate myself while I’m doing it, but it feels oh-so-good when it’s done.