Monthly Archives: October 2014

Nitpickers of the World, Unite Edit!

The Daily Post

Like most activities we subject to intense procrastination, editing our drafts is something we dread starting, but never regret once we’re done. To give you a push next time you’re staring at the screen, we’ve assembled a few time-tested editing tips straight from The Daily Post crew. Do try these at home!

Ben Huberman

ben
My not-so-secret self-editing tip (I give it all the time) is to read your text out loud.

Your eyes will often gloss over awkward phrasing, missing punctuation, and poor word choices (to say nothing of basic typos). Your ears won’t; they’ll force you to stop.

I find this technique especially effective when you’re giving a completed draft its first read-through. You might be dying to hit the “Publish” button and call it a day, but your voice will force you to slow down a bit and zone in on any remaining problem spots. These might not be huge on their own, but cumulatively they can…

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“A word after a word after a word is power.”

How true this is.

The Daily Post

Canadian author Margaret Atwood, whose résumé boasts 14 novels, 17 volumes of poetry, and eight volumes of short fiction, knows a thing or two about being productive as a writer.

Silencing “monkey mind” — the defeatist voice in your head that screams, “I’ll never get it!” à la muppet composer “Don Music” — is a critical part of being productive.

Margaret Atwood by Oksana Zhelisko Margaret Atwood by Oksana Zhelisko

For me, the following two Atwood quotes disabuse me of pretense around my writing and inspire me to keep building, word by word.

If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.

A word after a word after a word is power.

Reading these quotes, I feel empowered. As though, if I just keep working, I will (eventually) reach my goal.

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