Shall we talk a bit about editing? I know … I would much rather give that a pass too, but it is what is termed a “necessary evil”. We write because we want to share, and we want what we write shared. Darn stuff has to both look good and read well before anyone is going to start sharing it, no matter how many share buttons you have on you blog or site!
For it to both look good, and make some semblance of sense, we have to edit. I edit creatively, at times, leaving in a bit of personal humor that my readers may … or may not … get. Inspiration is an interesting thing. If we allow it to flow, it takes little side trips on the page. The good thing about allowing inspiration to rule … our writing flows, and we have interesting copy! Copy that we at times need to go back and add a bit of structure to … this is where the editing comes in.
When you edit, you are not only correcting spelling and punctuation. You are looking to see if your words make sense, and if they are coming across as you meant them to. I have had to go back and finesse something once I realized that it could be interpreted in a manner that I had not intended.
I have learned to leave a bit of time between when I write a blog or article and when I edit it. The reason for this is that I will read it as it was in my mind when I wrote it, and not how it actually appears on the page. Real life can fool you! ;-) Along with this, I have learned that to try and edit while I write is one of the worst mistakes that I ever made! It slows the process down, makes me think too much, and denigrates the quality of what I am doing. I don’t want to write like a robot!
The first thing that I do when editing is scan the blog or article for content. How well did I do? Will people understand it? Is it worth reading? Then I go back and check spelling. People – spellcheck is not always reliable! ‘Nuff said! The last thing that I do is go back over punctuation. At times I leave my version in, even though word is tapping me on the shoulder and clicking its tongue.
Take words out? Why would a writer take words out! Add more words is my motto! ;-) Okay, I am not that bad (all the time, anyway). Sometimes we do add words that are just baggage – they don’t add anything, and are a clear sign that we just like to hear our own voice. Sometimes this adds to the uniqueness of a blog or article, sometime we just need to hit the delete button!
One last thought – don’t over edit. The “perfect” blog or article may offer useful content, but be boring as heck!
© March 2012 Bonnie Cehovet