Editing… it’s an evolving art.
My memory can be relentless (just ask my friends and family). My attention to detail has always been high. But it’s taken me a long time to hone my editing skills.
Editing is a different beast. You can be a great writer but a sub-par editor (and vice versa). I have been writing for most of my life and only became a half-way decent editor in the last decade. It’s taken practice and a few courses – but I can share a few things I focus on while editing.
- Try not to edit on the same day you write – if you must, take a break in between to do something completely different.
- Read word by word. Line by line. Sometimes it helps to read the sentences in reverse order, so you’re not filling in word gaps in your own head.
- Keep your sentences simple and your paragraphs focused on one topic.
- Watch for filler words – like, that, really, basically, right, you know – they are rarely needed.
- Listen for your voice, your writing should sound like you.
- Think about your audience – picture who you’re talking to.
- Use a tool like Grammarly to check for typos, sentence structure and even overall tone.
- Get help – find someone you can trust to be a second set of eyes on your work.
If you can, hire someone to review your cornerstone content for you, I think it’s worthwhile. You can improve your writing by asking questions to your editor about the suggested changes.