You’re a writer. You got this.
You got the ideas, you do the necessary research, and you do the writing (of course). Now, it’s time to edit!
Wait, why did you stop? Why are you running? Come back here! You forgot to edit your work!
I understand editing can be scary, but you have to do it. You want your best work out there. Editing is only part of the whole writing process.
Editing can be your best friend if you two hung out more often. I promise you editing looks more like this:
You’re avoiding editing like it looks this:
Here’s what you can do to mend your relationship with editing.
1. Take a Break After Your First Draft
I’m not talking about a six months’ break. You know better than that!
Once you finish your fugly (yes, fugly) first draft, take a decent break. It can range from a few hours to a day. You’ve done your best. Don’t forget to make it better tomorrow.
Personally, my editing turns out the best in the mornings. I finish my fugly draft the night before than shape it into a better piece first thing at dawn.
Work out was best for you. I repeat: don’t forget or give up!
2. Cut Out the Obvious
Hmm, that semi-colon looks funny in that sentence.
You misspelled a word or two.
You accidentally typed, “I feel a little less dick” instead of “a little less sick.” Whoops.
Spot the obvious? Your first round of editing is getting rid of those mistakes. Spell-check apps like Grammarly certainly help. Don’t put your entire trust on them though.
Remember to review your content. Better yet, get another writing buddy to help you out too.
3. Read Out Loud
Sure, it sounds good in your head, but it’s funky when you read it aloud to yourself.
Rid the oddball sentences like the plague then read it all over again.
4. Check Your Content for Any Unanswered Questions
More than likely your content is addressing a problem. Does it have the solutions? Did you say what you wanted to say?
Read over your work with these questions in mind. Don’t be afraid to do a little more research if you need to.
Remember, you’re not the only one who reads your work.
You want your piece to answer every readers’ burning questions, whether it be how to start an online business or how to astral project out of your body to escape an awkward date.
You feel better now?
Well, you probably don’t feel better this instant.
Give it time. The writing process gets easier when you make editing a consistent habit.
Now, get down from that tree and return to your desk. You got some editing to do!