I’m not singling out any one particular group, but if you’re like me maintaining a blog because you just “have to write” then you may know what I’m talking about. By definition, bloggers and writers work alone. Unless by some miracle you sit in an office with a bunch of other people writing a blog or news article surrounded by other writers. Yet still, you’re writing alone. So when the words on the page begin to sound supremely awesome and you think you’ve just written something so fabulous you can’t believe that you actually wrote something so fabulous is the exact time when you REALLY need to slow down and breathe.
Finish your epic piece and go back and re-read it. Then read it again. I’m sure you all do this, that’s what good writers do right? Then after you’ve done that and feel satisfied, you check that yes, I’ve got the right categories listed, tags are good too and do I have the right links? Do I want those links associated with this piece? And then you come to the part when you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s everything is in place and your mouse is hovering over that easy clickable button that says PUBLISH. Just don’t do it yet!!!
I can’t count how many times I’ve done exactly these steps and felt so awesome about what I’ve just written that I start spreading the word faster than you can say “like.” I just want everyone to read my awesomeness in my published piece so much that I don’t bother triple-checking my article until later. Later being after several people have read it or seen it. And that’s when I find it. A problem with wording, or grammar or repeated words or phrases that when read as though I’m “visiting” a stranger’s blog I find errors in my “fabulous” piece of writing. Typically it’s a glaringly obvious problem that makes me feel embarrassed to no end and causes me to spend more time going over my article for a third or even fourth time checking for more errors. Which by the way, inevitably allows doubt and insecurity to creep in. And who needs that?
My solution? It’s a simple one really. One I’ve known I should do for a very long time but always forget until after I’ve made this newbie mistake for the umpteenth time. And that is, READ your article or written piece OUT LOUD. Any grammatical problems, flow of wording or any other issue that might crop up like ‘going off into left field on a tangent’ will become glaringly obvious as soon as you start reading it aloud as though you were reading a book report.
And that my friends is for me, the best way to edit anything I’ve every written. Wish me luck in remembering my own advice. I will probably need it.
- Editing; or Learning to Love Pain (alchemyoftheword.me)
- Cave painting period (lanceolot.wordpress.com)