Do you struggle self-editing? You are not alone. Many authors waste time and effort trying to improve their writing. This article provides methods you can use to edit your work more efficiently, improving its quality and reducing your publishing time.
Editing can transform an ordinary piece of writing into a great one. Yet many authors struggle to recognize and correct their own mistakes, resulting in finished work that is far below their own expectations. Fortunately, anyone can learn to become a better editor by following a few simple tips.
Use editing sites.
Many writers are unaware, or skeptical, of editing sites and applications. Not only are they designed to point out spelling errors, but they can also catch complex expressions, redundant phrases, and passive voice. While they are still limited to eliminating simple mistakes, they are a great tool for authors of all experience levels. Take care, however, to always double-check your work, as even the best editing sites won’t catch every mistake.
Get a second opinion.
Writers typically commit the same unique errors over and over, and this repetition can make recognizing and correcting these mistakes difficult. This is why many authors get a second opinion of their work, whether it is by a friend, family member, professional editor, or another author. In fact, many online writing communities are eager to look over the work of their members, although this does pose a risk of plagiarism. A second opinion should always be taken with a grain of salt, however, as not every suggestion will help improve your work.
Find the techniques that work best for you.
Writers use many techniques to recognize the mistakes in their work, from reading out loud or backwards, to focusing on a single word at a time. But finding the techniques that work best for you can be awkward and difficult, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Start by trying one technique at a time on short pieces of writing, keeping track of their overall improvement. This way, you can quickly find the methods that help you improve your writing the most.
Wait to edit your work.
Many authors make the mistake of editing their work too soon after it is written. Since their own writing is still fresh in their minds, they can fail to see typos, incoherent sentences, and other mistakes. Even waiting a single day before fixing your work can help, but you should wait at least a week for the best results.
Editing is a necessary part of writing well. Although some authors may find it intimidating, it requires only dedication and the willingness to learn.