Self-Editing Tip #23–Taking a Step Back

13 Sep

Even editors need an editor sometime. AND IT’S OK. Don’t think of it as an admission of imperfection or as a sign of incapability to improve your own writing. The reality is that after working on your own project for a considerable amount of time, it becomes nearly impossible to see certain mistakes. After reading through a 300-page manuscript three times, you know what you’re trying to say. That doesn’t mean the writing makes the point so clear. It’s OK to need an outsider to say, “Hey, that section isn’t very cohesive,” or, “I don’t think you followed through with that thought.”

So, it doesn’t matter how great of an editor of other people’s work you are—you can’t always be that great editor for your own work. Yes, do your self-editing, do your grammar checks, spell checks, typo checks. Yes, try to make sure you tie up all the loose ends, the Chekhov guns and Red Herrings. But don’t get your pride hurt for realizing you need a second, third, fourth reader to make sure you’ve found all the missteps. Besides, what aspiring writer would ever turn down valuable input from the people that could one day become a paying audience?

Take a step back and enjoy what your writing has become.

P.S. It’s OK to get help.

 

Happy editing!

–Amanda Marsico

Editor, Proofreader, Red Ink Enthusiast

marsicoam@gmail.com

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2 Responses to “Self-Editing Tip #23–Taking a Step Back”

  1. michaelalexanderchaney September 13, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    When I used to paint oil paintings, a trick I used was to look at the painting upside down only through a mirror. Seeing the reflection and the weird angles made all sorts of things stick out to me, problems that I never noticed before because the work was “too close”. Any distancing strategy is a good one from time to time when creating and editing. Thanks for this.

    • marsicowritesite September 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      That’s a great method! I paint on occasion. Would love to try this! Thanks for the input.

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