Last-Minute Editing Fixes Your Writing Work Might Need
Before you publish your blog post or send your manuscript to the publishers, here are some last-minute editing fixes that can help ensure you are submitting your best work.
The first question to ask yourself is, does your writing say what you want it to say?
This question doesn’t necessarily need to be answered with a “yes”. Sometimes when we set out to write, we have a specific idea of what we want to say. But then as we start writing, the words come out differently. That’s okay. The beauty of writing is that there are no cut and dry answers.
There are so many ways to word a message, and even as we write, the message takes on its own form. Things come together in a different way than we had first imagined. How many times in life have you said, “Well, that didn’t go as planned”?
If you are writing for a client or if you are working on your first draft, you may need to start at square one or do some serious rewriting depending on how far you strayed from the plan.
The second question, and perhaps more important, is, does it deliver what you promised in the beginning sentence or paragraph?
A promise that doesn’t get delivered is an empty promise. It leaves the reader feeling cheated. Do this too many times and you’ll lose the reader.
The next questions are, does it make sense and are the steps easy to follow? Have you provided enough explanation so your readers can take action and accomplish what you say they can?
This is one area beginning writers struggle with. They haven’t learned how clear they need to be in their writing work. It just takes practice and it helps to read other people’s instructions. It’s easier to criticize the writing of others than it is to write our own work, so this allows us to learn from the mistakes of others.
Once you’ve addressed these questions by putting your writing work to the test, the last thing to do is to double-check for spelling errors, typos, and grammatical errors.
Take a critical eye to your work. It works best if you can set your work aside for a day or two and go back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind, but if you don’t have time, work to clear your mind and boost your mental alertness and focus.
I find that putting a drop of Peppermint essential oil above my upper lip and in a glass of drinking water helps me get focused on my work to catch mistakes I might have otherwise missed.
Read over your work, read it out loud, go slow, and set out to find errors.
Then after you’ve given it your best effort and handled the last-minute editing work, take the plunge and send it out to the world (or to your publisher)!