An Editing Room

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Apr 12 2011

I know I don’t have ADD, I’m pretty sure I don’t have ADD, but bright shiny things distract me. As do dull dingy things, chocolate, coffee and butterflies, and a slight breeze.

And when it comes to sitting down to edit a client’s work, those dull dingy things suddenly become bright and shiny. Heck, the whole world becomes bright and shiny. So here’s what I’d like to propose. I need an Editing Room. A room in which no sound can get in and there is very little to look at. I had visions of a couch, a soft chair, and an aquarium, but then I quickly realized that those things would distract me. Add in a blanket and it wouldn’t take but mere seconds before the Editing Room became the Napping Room. Nope, what I need is a desk with a moderately hard chair, a pen, notebook, my Kindle, and a glass of water. If I’m really nice I can be allowed music, but truthfully, that would just encourage me to add a disco ball and make it the Dance Party Room.

Editing is a dirty job. It really is. It takes complete focus and concentration. To really edit well I need few distractions and even fewer shiny things. An Editing Room. Yep, I’m thinking solitary confinement for editing might be exactly what I need.


41 responses to “An Editing Room”

  1. Avatar Oliver says:

    I need an editing floor.

  2. Avatar wry wryter says:

    I need an editing bed but BEING edited in bed…well, yeah it's a dirty job, if you're lucky.
    I don't think my husband and I have ever had any problems telling each other what I's we want dotted and what T's we want crossed…oh wait…am I on the right blog.
    Where's Dr. Ruth when you need her.
    Is she still alive?

  3. Avatar Nan says:

    I'm a copyeditor and for what it's worth, I have an editing room. It's a charming room, made for work, and yet I still get distracted from my task. Especially on beautiful sunny Indiana mornings when birds are singing outside my window and the world is greening up…

  4. Avatar Joanne Sher says:

    May I say AMEN?????

  5. Ooooh those shiny objects come in so many sneaky forms. The internet for me, is the glossiest of all! I have to go write longhand somewhere, far away from my laptop…preferably outside. Then I get caught up in the soap opera drama that is our aviary, with 19 cockatiels establishing who is who. Big bay flight window, really cool to watch the personalities, (seriously, they have unique personalities like people!) but…shiny objects!! I need a room with white walls…no make that red walls…a recliner…and no internet service.

  6. Avatar Lorenda says:

    I specifically requested my office to be in a room with no window… Because it's amazing how much time passes staring at a dandelion.

  7. Avatar Lynn(e) says:

    i completely understand about the napping room. sometimes i write in my bed and people will walk in and i'll be passed out with my computer on my lap. oops 🙂

  8. Who DOESN'T need one, right? For reals, you could probably rent it out when you're not using it and turn a pretty little profit

  9. Especially during spring. There should be laws against editing anything, anywhere, when it's sunny and seventy degrees. I can't even imagine facing a full manuscript on a day like that.

    And I couldn't help but notice – did the Editing Room have any chocolate…?

  10. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I too am easily distracted, but for that reason, I need the exact opposite of total quiet–I need something like a nice busy coffeeshop, since I find the bit of extra effort it takes me to block out the general hum is exactly what I need to focus on my work and not let my mind wander …

  11. Avatar Juliana says:

    A Kindle? I would never get anything done! For that matter, I can spend a long time watching my water swirl (after I've picked up the glass and spun it around a few times to get the swirl started). This is why I try to never fuss at my son when he gets distracted doing his homework…

  12. Avatar ryan field says:

    This is why I put a desk in my basement, in the unfinished section near the furnace and air conditioning unit, with no windows or distractions.

  13. Sounds like you need to get arrested. 8×10 cell should eliminate most of the distractions you're worried about. 🙂

  14. Everything distracts me. But I do have ADD. I self-medicate with caffeine. 🙂

  15. I would like a desk w/ a treadmill beneath it. Then I can at least get some exercise while I work in my hidey hole.

  16. Avatar Robena Grant says:

    Editing? Bleh!
    I took a manuscript with me on a trip to Australia. Thought I would easily edit it on the trip. 15 hours in the air x two. Did one chapter.
    Too many shiny things, too many movie selections on the plane ride. Even watched the Aussie movie Kenny (about a guy who owns a porta-potty business). Really. Way too many shiny things, not that porta potties are all that shiny.
    I've made more progress on the manuscript this weekend, even with jetlag, by sitting outside on my patio.

  17. Avatar Anonymous says:

    The editing part is much harder for me. The exciting part is getting those words on the page. I need an editing room and brain.


  18. Avatar Inky says:

    Your dream editing room sounds like my dream writing room! Only I would also request a jumbo coffeemaker and a Mary-Poppins-style floor lamp. And maybe a large teddy bear. Y'know, for the tough times. 🙂

  19. Good luck in finding the perfect editing room! It's a worthy pursuit ^^ I've been trying for years to find a writing one, but the shiny keeps distracting me.

  20. I feel your pain. Not to brag, but I can slap out a sloppy, embarrassing first draft in no time if I get it while the idea is hot. Then comes the editing… groan, moan, procrastinate. The thing that keeps me coming back is thinking about how exponentially better my edited books got after 6 or 7 rounds of editing. 🙂

  21. I need a wrting room! With nothing in it… or possibly a writing computer with nothing on it except a word document.

  22. A writing room in the design of Starbucks with unlimited tea (or whatever I want) and my very own barista would be awesome! …Then again I could just got to Stabucks, Lol. One can dream…

  23. Avatar jesse says:

    Sounds too much like sensory deprivation. Next you will need editing mittens, editing horse blinders, and perhaps even an editing lobotomy.
    But I see your point. It is hard to focus for a sustained period if you don't take steps to allow it. As for me, I need a certain amount of intentional distractions in order to focus. I need the right music in my headphones, the right drink at my side, and some background "action" to tune out. Coffeehouses work well for me.

  24. Funnily enough, I enjoy editing. Maybe it's my pedantic streak, though it's more likely that I feel I am one step closer to completing my goal.

  25. You could hire someone who has a very strong disapproving look to stand behind you and glare and cough when you get off track.

  26. Can my house have all those rooms? Especially the Dance Party room for when I'm frustrated with my own editing. And then the nap room for after all the dancing!

  27. Avatar ARJules says:

    The problem is, the blog is a shiny thing. I'm right aren't I? This was another diversion to use instead of editing.

    You MAY need to add padded walls to your editing room. 🙂

  28. Avatar Kurt Hartwig says:

    I rely on Freedom and Leechblocker to save me from the dangers of the internet in one and two hour increments.

    Nothing saves me from the dog except going on a walk, though.

  29. Avatar Alice says:

    I love editing. LOVE it. It's kind of a weird thing to love, I've noticed…

    I don't love it as much as two or three pages of uninterrupted creative bliss, don't get me wrong.

  30. Avatar Tyree Connor says:

    Tongue in cheek, or not, it's a very good idea 🙂 and amusing bog-post.
    I write in my downstairs wardrobe for that very reason. Yes, it does seem a little "weirdo" but it's set up with nice desk, computer, shelves; and that's it – no windows.

  31. Avatar MissFifi says:

    I covet a writing shed simply because there are days I get really distracted. I hate getting stuck on the same sentence over and over when editing sometimes.

  32. I'd think my Kindle would do more to distract me than anything else.

    I love editing, though, probably more than writing first drafts. Maybe I need a writing room…well, a different one, that's not also my bedroom since I live in an apartment with no extra rooms to spare.

  33. Avatar Toyin O. says:

    Editing is a tough job, you need to be completly focused.

  34. Avatar Laila Knight says:

    Hmm, you've just described my basement, aquarium and all. The peace and quiet lasts about five minutes. If it's any consolation, writing is a dirty job too.

  35. Funny . . . I feel the same way about grading my students' essays. I need quiet and no distractions.

    Actually, I've found sometimes that a busy place with lots of "white noise" like a library or a coffeeshop that's busy-but not too busy-can be the best.

    At home, there are just too many distractions–even dirty dishes seem more appealing sometimes. 😉

  36. Avatar lori says:

    Funny post. I can certainly relate to being easily distracted. Enjoyed this 🙂

  37. Avatar tiggy says:

    HAHAH that was great. I go through the SAME process. I think of a couch…blanket. then I decide that I would be to cozy. Then I think about music…but I'll end up singing. So its just better to sit in silence, with one piece you can occasionally look to for a short distraction.

  38. Avatar Nicole says:

    Sounds good, but I'd nix the hard chair. I'm in a moderately hard chair all day and let me tell you, that kills your butt after a long while. Then you'll want to get up and walk around or leave just to escape the chair – not the editing!

  39. Avatar Ninjas Love Nixon says:

    What you need is a chamber of understanding.

  40. Avatar Ashlee says:

    I love the way your train of thought leads! A couch, to a blanket, to napping (I would go couch, to blanket, to eating apples and reading). Some music, to a disco ball, to dancing!

    I need music and distractions to get anything done! It just takes longer. 😉

    Win earrings, free entry!

  41. Avatar Amanda Myers says:

    I have now resorted to going into work hours earlier than scheduled so I can write. If I'm at home, I find too many other things I should be doing.

    I like the padded room idea, though. I might have to invest! 🙂