It takes me roughly twice as long to edit anything as it does to write it. I have no problem with this, because I’ve been trained to look at anything I write sort of like a painting. I don’t expect to just sit down and slap some color on a canvas and call it a work of art — perhaps a work of art in progress, but anything more would be generous and naive. When I edit something I’ve written, the end product resembles the original only peripherally, most of the time.
To keep myself from becoming frustrated during the process, I have to walk away for a bit. There’s the original research and writing phase, then the quick edits for spelling and grammar. The most time, I find, is chewed up (along with the project I’m working on) in the last part of my editing process: I edit the whole piece for consistency, tone, and flow.
After my work is submitted, I will sometimes have to go back and do an edit or two that are either fact checks or an image that isn’t working out for the story.
I don’t mind editing the work of other writers, particularly when I’m getting paid for it. Fiction writers are too close to their work sometimes to be able to make the edits necessary to clean up their manuscripts before they send them to a publisher, and this is both understandable and sometimes frustrating. Still, one day I might just decide to write fiction, and I’ll need an editor of my own. We’ll see if I can manage it with dignity and grace.