I am in so much love with my own creations that I can’t watch them nixed and pruned. Yeah, I dislike editing. Not now but a few months back also I would take hours editing my own work and lost valuable time that affected my productivity. Not anymore, thanks to one of my clients who taught me how to tailor and cut down a document to make it shine like a diamond. So, here are the things I have learnt from him that all content writers who edit their own work can learn and apply.
Plan more and edit less
That’s the golden rule of editing. Before you start writing a post, spend a few minutes planning. Jot down the questions you are going to answer through the blog. Use single paragraphs for a single point. Use simple sentences and allot one sentence per idea. By keeping your writing simple you would avoid making grammatical mistakes and take up less time in editing.
Approach proofreading as a separate job
I follow a rule of treating writing and editing as separate tasks. To edit my works better, I disassociate myself from them. For blogs, I take one day and for ebooks and long articles at least 3-5 days. I allow myself this much time to open the post and start reading it in a fresh mind. It’s like reading someone else’s work and that helps me to find out the gaps or the weak points in a write-up.
Look for fillers and eliminate them
This is the first step in editing your work. Get rid of fillers and unnecessary grammar expletives to tighten the text. Words like “absolutely”, “honestly”, and “just” should be used sparingly. Study the construction of sentences. Can a sentence be made simpler by leaving out “to be” verb forms? Yes, do so and see how your article sounds better.
To make your writing strong, leave out everything ‘weak’
I mean weak adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Avoid using fillers like “really” and “very” with adjectives. Instead, choose strong words or phrases that express your feelings better and also makes the post crisp and more interesting.
Punctuations- Be very careful with them
Most writers cannot handle punctuations well. Have you ever wondered what a single comma can do to a sentence? It can make or break it. So, be careful with commas and semicolons. Better to write simple sentences and not get into the trouble of using commas. Always remember that your aim is to make your readers read the whole post, not confuse them with complicated English.
How to apply the editing rules
Changing your writing style is not easy. When an idea strikes you, you would like to put it down on paper rather than remembering the rules and following them. The best way would be to open a recently written document and apply these rules one by one. As you do so, you would be astonished how the post improves. Your post would become fantastic and you would feel great about it.
Do you edit your own articles or have an editor to do so? What are the editing rules you follow? Please share with us so that we can also learn from your experience.
About the author – Koyel Majumder – A writer with an eye for perfection. She is a freelance content writer from Mumbai, India with over 6 years of experience of writing web content, blogs and articles. When she is not writing, she will be reading for ideas that would help her to remain up to date. In short, she lives and dreams words and finds this writer’s world fascinating.
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