What you envision when you think about self-editing is nothing but a mask that simply needs to be peeled away. I swear it!
Daily, I hear writers gripe about self-editing. You just don’t want to do it. And why is that?
Because you’re looking at self-editing through an ugly mask.
I remember sitting in ninth-grade math class and all while the teacher spoke, I sat in the back of the room repeating over and over to myself, “I hate math, I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to learn it, and I’m not going to.” Needless to say, I got a big fat F that year, and I sincerely doubt any of you want to see 1 or 2-star reviews on your books simply because you didn’t want to do the work.
The first layer of that ugly mask is whatever you see as your weak point. Like grammar and punctuation corrections, for instance. If I had a dollar for every writer who said, “Punctuation and grammar are my weak points,” I’d be on a permanent vacation. Or maybe you believe your weak point is dialogue or description. Maybe it’s action/fight scenes, emotion, body language, plot, or character development; whatever you see as your weak point or an area where you feel you need improvement, and you just don’t want to deal with it.
The second layer of that ugly mask is you just don’t want to put in the time and effort to do something you see as either unnecessary or not enjoyable. Am I right?
But if you peel away that mask and look at the true face of self-editing, you just might start looking forward to it. Really!
After all, self-editing is polishing. It’s about making all the tears, sweat, and frustration of your hard work positively glow! It’s about adding the spice to your chili, the Bailey’s to your coffee, or the marshmallows to your hot chocolate.
I adore self-editing because the results are so incredibly satisfying. You’ll go from feeling good about your story to feeling great about it.
And there’s another advantage too. Practice makes perfect, right? It really does!
So whatever your weakness might be, every time you go over your work, you’re honing those writing skills and turning that weakness into a strength.
So don’t be a lazy writer or a weakling. Pump that iron… er…paper? Keys? My point is, work that brain of yours. Improve your story and improve your writing skills at the same time.
If you take the time, you won’t be sorry, I promise you. You’ll be ecstatic!