Obsessive Self-Editing = part of being a writer!

We all know the importance of self-editing – polishing our work until it gleams as much as we can before we send it out into the world.  We thought we’d share the basic process with you that we follow to ensure continuous self-improvement in anything that we write. It is:

1 - Spelling, punctuation, and grammar check judiciously

2 - Read it through on the screen and make changes as you go

3 - Print it off, hold it, feel it, read it – mark up anything that doesn’t flow, and continuously think about what could be improved as you go through it

4 - Go back and make all the improvements

5 - Recruit someone you trust (but who won’t just tell you it’s great!), who is similarly interested in writing and reading as you.  Ask them to read it and provide detailed notes.

6 – Go back and make all the improvements

7 - Stand back and look at it through a reader’s eyes

8 - Start the process again

Self-editing is an essential part of the journey in writing anything, it is about refining that initial spark of inspiration from your first draft.  We think it’s integral to getting your work into a state that other people will want to read, that other people will want to buy.

Whilst this is a really simple process we’ll definitely be running through it at least a couple of times before www.iwritereadrate.com launches to ensure that our uploads are as good as we can possibly make them, so they have the greatest chance possible of being downloaded, and ultimately read (and enjoyed) by other people.

Vanessa Gebbie wrote a great post on her blog recently about the importance of self-editing that illustrates further its importance.  She has kindly let us link to it.  We think the dedication that Vanessa illustrates here is fantastic, and a lesson to all us aspiring authors.  Read her article at: http://morenewsfromvg.blogspot.com/2011/02/editing-rewriting-revising-manuscript.html

Obsessive self-editing = part of being a writer!

All the best.

The iwritereadrate Team

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11 Responses to Obsessive Self-Editing = part of being a writer!

  1. I wrote some tips for editing on my blog at the end of last year. You can read them here:
    http://callaghanwrites.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-3-top-tips-for-editing-your-writing.html

  2. Sharon says:

    These are great tips. I also find that if I have someone read it aloud and listen to the parts he or she stumbles over–or changes a word–it helps in the refining process. I also read my stuff aloud. Hearing it brings in a whole new aspect of brain functioning that I find very useful–especially when I’m writing for children.

  3. Adam says:

    Thanks for your comments, guys. Great advice.

  4. Since Claudia Ricci mentioned The Spiritkeeper in her Huffington Post article (and will be serializing it), I saw her reply to you and thought I’d stop by and say hi! You’e helping open my eyes to this new world! Thanks so much!

  5. admin says:

    Hi Lynn. Our pleasure…! Thanks for dropping in. If you’ve got any questions please feel free to email us: faq@iwritereadrate.com. There’s also still time to register for our beta website launch coming soon at http://www.iwritereadrate.com

    All the best

    The iwritereadrate Team

  6. These are particularly helpful ideas to a newer writer like myself. In writing my first book I was often impatient to get the story told, thinking my first impressions for the right words would somehow be appropriate. Intuitively my obsessive re-reading broke down this naive opinion, and the book evolved and improved with each change. I needed to leave it for awhile at times to get my battery recharged, but I know now there are no shortcuts to doing what you know inside is right. Eventually you finish. It’s like finally deciding a painting is done, after all, you don’t want to over do it.

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