Good writing isn’t done first time.

Get the words on paper first and then see what you can do with them later. As the saying goes “write while drunk, edit when sober.”

 

Impacting – that is what editing is all about. Editing your work multiple times (and not just for errors) will ensure a more readable piece that is more likely to be accepted and enjoyed by the readers. The true readability of any work is in the editing you do on your work before finishing.

As part of your writing method, it’s a good idea to wait a while before you re-read your writing, regardless of the project. Time allows for distance and objectivity about your work.

Another value gained from re-reading and drafting is that you can see how your mind works when you just let the words flow, without editing on-the-job.

As you re-read, highlight sections that are good. They often jump off the screen (or page) and are obvious. They can be used as beginning (or closing) points for the piece – to achieve impacting.

Now often when we hear the word ‘editor’ we think of a terse person in a tweed suit with a dictionary under their pillow, who is critical of everything. That is definitely not the case, and is not the demeanor to adopt when editing your work.

There should be no place for the inner-ego-editor to manipulate things the way they want, or to become picky. Readability and reader-focus should be of paramount importance, not your own purposes or emotions.

Instead, when you go over your work, become a Samurai, a great warrior with the courage to cut anything that is not present.

Like a Samurai with an empty mind, be willing to not be sentimental about your writing when you re-read it. Do not attach to anything that is not to purpose. Look at it with a clear, piercing mind.

See editing as polishing your work, or ‘envisioning it again’. If there are areas that are blurry or vague, simply see the picture again and add the details that will bring the end result closer to the ideal picture.

When you take the warrior’s road, in the Samurai space, you have to be tough. Not mean, but honest with the toughness of truth.

Photo via stock.xchng userclix
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