Editing: More than Weeding Out Typos from Your Writing
If you’re a writer who wants to be taken more seriously this year, try committing to doing a final, thorough reading of every new piece before you publish.
Mistakes in your draft are like weeds in your flower garden.
Editing is like weeding a flower garden: It’s tedious work that few writers enjoy and readers don’t notice. The truth is, editing done right is invisible to readers. But when it’s not done at all, it’s the only thing readers notice.
Think of it this way: If you fail to remove weeds from your flower garden, the weeds eventually take over. The will muscle out the flowers, block out sunlight, and absorb the nutrients in the soil that the flowers need to flourish.
Left to their own devices, weeds will ruin your garden. And in the end, they will be the only things left standing. Nobody wants to admire a garden choked with weeds. Similarly, nobody wants to read a story that’s strangled with writing errors.
If you don’t weed out mistakes before you publish your draft, they will steal the spotlight from your work. That’s why editing, a.k.a., the final polish, is so important.
Editing is the process of combing through your unpublished draft, checking every word and punctuation mark to ensure they add value to the piece. Everything in your draft should be there because it’s necessary for reading comprehension and meaning.
Unfortunately, many writers skip editing because they find it tedious, boring, and unnecessary. Yes, the fun part of writing is putting the right words in the right order to convey exactly what you want to say. When that happens, there’s a frisson of excitement that’s almost addictive. It’s what calls most of us back to the blank page time and time again.
Even though editing is admittedly not the most enjoyable way to spend your time, it is vital if you want your final product to wow your readers.
I’ll be bold here and admit that I believe editing is the most vital part of writing.
I challenge you as a writer to prove me wrong. Editing requires you to read slowly and reconsider every single word. It demands you weed out the detritus that steals the clarity and comprehension from your writing.
Writers have long admitted they hate slowing down to do a final read through; they say it’s a buzz kill. Writer beware: Skip this final step at your peril. You truly don’t want to publish an error-riddled piece if you want to be taken seriously.
Spending a few more minutes with your beloved words ensures you’ve done your best to make it worthy of your readers time and attention. That alone goes a long way in wooing editors and readers to take you seriously.