Most writers don't enjoy the editing process. I've never understood this mindset - for me, the worst part (if there actually is a worst part about writing) is getting my thoughts down onto paper/screen in a somewhat ordered, coherent fashion. I procrastinate the most when I'm supposed to be writing a first draft - Twitter is just too alluring and even those dirty dishes in the sink I've been putting off washing suddenly look more appealing.
However, for me, editing is fun. It's literally just improving something which already exists. It gives you the chance to correct any silly mistakes, play around with syntax, throw in any ideas you may have forgotten, add those finishing touches and really make your work shine.
It's important to proof read your work if you want it to look professional. Here are some tips for editing your blog posts (or anything else you write):
1. Don't look at editing as a chore - think of it as a way to make your writing sparkle! You'll enjoy the process so much more.
2. Once you've finished writing a piece, take some time away to give yourself a break. Write something else in the meantime. Return to it in a few hours, days or even a week and start editing - this will give you a bit of distance from your work and you'll be able to look at it more objectively than when you've just written it.
3. Use Spellchecker. This will correct any spelling errors but won't be able to detect any words used in the wrong context, such as if you wrote your instead of you're or there instead of they're. For this reason I would also recommend downloading Grammarly, a free browser extension which proofreads your work for any spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Sometimes it can be easy to miss your own typos so this tool is a godsend for busy bloggers.
4. Re-read your post a few times and think about ways you can improve it. Delete any unnecessary words, phrases or paragraphs and sneak in any missing words. Try not to use the same word twice in one sentence - if you find that you've done this, replace one of them with a synonym (another word which has a similar meaning).
5. If you're not good at editing, get a supportive friend or family member to read your work before you hit that publish button and ask them for any suggestions on how to improve it.
Remember: practice makes perfect. The more you edit your work, the better you'll get. You never know, you might even start to enjoy it!
How do you feel about editing your writing? Do you enjoy it or just see it as a necessary evil?
Liked this post? Click here for more blogging tips.