Editing your writing

Is editing your own work all that difficult? I think it is. Once I’ve finished writing a piece and gone over it four or five times, my eye starts to skip even obvious errors. I’ve been working on an MS where an auto correct function took most contractions and spelled them with a quotation mark instead of an apostrophe – i.e. don”t instead of don’t.

For some reason, once that occurred the spell check wouldn’t pick them up. So I went through the piece manually changing them. Then I sent the pages to my pad to read it again and discovered I’d missed a bunch. See? It’s not that easy to do your own editing.

I’ve tried to work out a system once a piece is finished –

  • Run spell check
  • Run list of overused words
  • Read through on computer and edit
  • Send to pad to read and make notes of obvious errors
  • Final read through
  • I consider reading it out loud, printing it and reading it on paper
  • Then I start looking for other eyes on the MS because I’m bound to have missed something.

Joan DeMartin wrote a good piece on Lipsticking website about self editing. You can read it here –


How do you edit? All suggestions welcome!