Imagine being in labor for forty-six excruciating hours. You deliver a beautiful baby into the world, strong and healthy, with all limbs fingers and toes. You're beyond elated to see this bundle of joy welcomed into the world. Just when you're at your highest peak of satisfaction, the doctor comes in. "Congratulations on the delivery," he says. "Before you can take your baby home, we need to take care of a few things first. We're going to need to remove a couple of the baby's toes, a few fingers. Oh an eye, too. And maybe part of the right ear."
Editing sucks. It requires stepping out of your comfort zone, taking something you're extremely proud of, and chopping, chopping, chopping until it whittles down to something completely different. It's even harder being the one to have to do it. After all, you wouldn't have written it if you didn't think it was necessary to the story. Editing, for me, can take a few rounds over periods of time. Just like a parent that's more susceptible to getting help with their child the older that child gets, I have a lot easier time editing the more I read my own work. After awhile it becomes a game of What Can I Cut Next? The best part is, the more you end up having to cut, the better off you are in the long run when writing other books. I've gone from becoming a "Let the story develop as it develops" kind of person to a "Get to the Point Already Then Shorten it Again" kind of writer.
Editing is hard, but so is being a good writer. You can tell a great story, but if that word count is too high, will anyone want to read it?