The art of editing – Why edit at all? – 1 of 7

Editing is like pruning the rose bush you thought was so perfect and beautiful until it overgrew the garden – Larry Enright

Ah, editing. The curse of every writer. The part of the writing process that I see more complaints about than any other. The piece that so many self-published writers seem to feel that they can skip – and which, to me, is the downfall of many of them and what is losing them the chance of building a loyal readership base.

Don’t get me wrong, getting your first draft down on paper is a fantastic achievement. It will have taken immense commitment of time, self-discipline and emotional investment. It may well have ruined your social life and eaten into time with your family. There’s a good chance that by the time you finish you’ll be as sleep-deprived as a new parent. And all too often these days, having got through all of that work, a writer thinks that’s it, job over and time to publish. I want to make people think again.

Over the next six weeks, I’m going to be writing a series of blog posts on the practicalities of editing. Discussing why it’s such an important part of the authoring process and what it involves; giving some hints and tips for self-editing; and also looking at some of the pitfalls for self-published writers of trying to find an editor.

Hopefully, I’ll let you see

  • That your writing deserves to be treated with more respect than just rushing it out to market gives it.
  • Why your potential readers deserve to be treated with more respect than a rushed and unfinished book gives them ­– would you be happy with getting a garment home and finding nobody had bothered to finish the seams or hem them?
  • How far you can take self-editing and when and how you need to move on to the professionals out there.
  • That the final decisions still all rest with you and that good editors know and respect this. They want to help you polish that manuscript till it shines.

If there are any other specific aspects of editing that you are interested in then I’d love to hear from you.

To your book’s success!


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