Eleven Helpful Tips on Editing Your Own Writing

Whatever you do having someone to check your work independently is the best way to have your work free of mistakes. Some software could also help like if you are about to trade online you might be looking forward to using the Lexington Code, proven its’ efficiency among its’ users.

A piece of art can be easily made by gathering up all of your thought and use the help of a keyboard.  The tough part of it all is the editing part.  Even the greatest writers in the world will surely agree on this.  Editing other people’s work is undeniably challenging but editing your own work is twice harder than that.  It is hard because it is your own work of art.  You are the one who made it so it will be very easy for you to understand even the smallest detail with the flaw.  Although self editing is really difficult, it is a must.

Below are eleven of the useful tips on how to effectively edit your own writing.

1.      Do not think of anything other than writing

Do not practice doing the editing while writing.  It will just consume more of your time and might eat up some that are meant for you to gather more ideas.  Just go on and just go back on the editing part once the writing work is fully done.

2.     Start spell checking

Although it is not at all time advisable to rely on online or spell checking tool, it is still a good way to start over.  Go right ahead and activate the spell checker before beginning your editing part but again, do not completely rely on it.

3.     Give yourself some space away from your work

One of the most effective ways to recognize the errors is to step away from the piece.  This does not necessarily mean that you have to go out of town and just go back in a couple of days to continue writing.  A simple rest room trip or having a cup of coffee is enough.  Right after going back to the writing piece, you will realize that it is either not that bad or not that good.

4.     Change the formats

Reading out your writing the way your readers will do is very effective.  Try to print or do print preview before reading.  It is also good if you try to save a copy of it in pdf format or send a copy to your email address and you will see how others would see it.

5.     Transfer to a different place

The first four steps are effective enough to do an effective editing.  However, some great writers also prefer to change the location and get a whole new ambiance and environment.  There was a reporter who tried to print out his story and edit it while sitting comfortably in the lobby.  Whether you believe it or not, a new environment opens up our minds to new ideas and wider perspective and awareness about the mistakes which gives us a great opportunity for improvement.

6.     Read your work aloud

Read your work aloud and by hearing your own voice, you will surely be able to know which part sound right and which does not.  You will also get to know if your work sound sensible enough to entertain and impress your future readers.

7.     Read the entire work through

Read your work from the first word down to the last one before marking down your edits and making some changes.

8.     Learn the art of macro editing

After reading out the entire writing piece, go ahead and check out if there are sections that need to be removed as they are not that relevant or sections to be added.  Do not start with polishing the work sentence per sentence.  Remove the big chunks first and then work into the smaller details.  Doing the other way around will just make you consume more time on editing sentences that you will just later cut or change.

9.     Follow up with micro editing

Once you are done with the macro editing, go on and check the sentences.  We tend to use more words than necessary so it will be best to check each sentence to ensure that each word and sentence are relevant enough to be kept in your work.

10.   Read it again

Do not be tired of reading.  There are times that mistakes are committed while editing the work so you must make sure that your work of art will leave no space for any error.

11.   Another spell check session

As you did the reading part once again, it is advisable for you to repeat the spell check part again.  As mentioned, there might be some errors committed while editing the writing so there is nothing wrong on spending no longer than 5 minutes to activate the spell check for your work.

All in all, self editing is undeniably not that easy but it does not mean that it is not doable.  Following the mentioned 11 tips will surely make one a great and effective writer and editor at the same time.


Sandra Miller is a writer from New York. Writes her first book and learns the art of self publishing. Uses editing services to improve her book and make it perfect. She has a PhD in English literature, NYU graduate. 


Rebecca Berto is the author of Precise and Drowning in You. If you want book-release updates, please sign up at this form (email only when news, not weekly).

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page to stay updated.