Revision, alteration, culling.
The editing process comes into play in many areas of musical composition. An initial melody or lyric might be changed to accommodate later developments, for example, or an arrangement or orchestration might be changed to improve flow or impact, or a change in venue or personnel.
Editing is an Elemental card, and refers to making changes in order to maintain the focus and integrity of what’s at hand. There is often an element of culling involved, of letting go of what is not necessary. Successful editing requires a keen, unattached intuition, a continual recalling of intent, and a relaxed approach.
The editing process—the rewrite, the spit and polish, the tweak, the toss —can be essential at certain points, but not at every point. It can be deadly, for example, if engaged too early in a creative process (the infamous paralysis by analysis.) If the need to edit arises unconsciously—from anxiety or as a knee-jerk reaction, for example—we can end up shooting ourselves in the foot.