One of the most critical aspects of writing is often the one most overlooked: editing. Everyone thinks they can write. But there is a difference in writing, and writing well. That difference is where the editor comes in.
Looking to trim unnecessary words, making expressions stronger, paraphrasing quotes, moving critical information to the top, ending with a punch — the editor looks at the written piece with new eyes. Critical ones.
Weeding away the fluff. Polishing the rough edges. Making the piece sing.
It’s hard to retain the voice of the writer and yet capture the essence of an article. What’s harder is editing your own content.
I’ve been trained in school and on the job to never let the first draft be the final one. I write my initial thoughts. Build a structure. Fill in all the details. And walk away.
Re-reading what I’ve written a day, or sometimes even a couple of hours, later helps me finesse it. I can usually make it sharper. Add some interesting visuals. Make sure it all holds together well.
Then I think of a title that sums up the piece. And subheads that will move it along forward if it’s a lengthy article or blog post.
Finally I proofread. I’ve learned that relying solely on a spellchecker isn’t worth the time you save.
For my blog posts, I then add tags, choose categories, and, after a little bit of trepidation, hit the Publish button.
Even though this is an informal platform, it’s important to not let the quality of your writing lapse. It doesn’t matter what or why you write or blog — editing takes your writing from a collection of thoughtful expressions to effective communication.
- Good Web writing is a skill
- The five W’s of Web writing
- Improve Your Writing with these Editing Tips