Self-editing is an important part of the writing process. It takes time, but it is well worth it.

Reviewing your work will teach you how to improve your writing, help you catch mistakes you’ve made, and eliminate grammatical errors. If you are using a professional editor, editing your own pieces first will save them time, which means saving you money.
Here are a few self-editing tips:

  • Read your writing out loud and in a different format. If you handwrite your work, type it out. If you used a computer, print it out. This process will help you find mistakes more easily. It will also help you see what is and what is not essential to your story.


  • Set it aside. All writers reach a point where they need to distance themselves from their work. If you’re at that point, set it aside for a few days, take a walk, or take a break. This will give you a fresh perspective and help you improve on your original version.


  • Watch out for duplication. If you repeat certain words or phrases, your reader can’t help but notice. A thesaurus helps wonders to find new words that have the same meaning and give your work a novel approach – i.e. the next time you go to use the word fresh, substitute it with – new, original, novel.


  • Remove weak adjectives. If you want to use adjectives, skip the commonly used ones, such as: really, truly, very, amazing, etc., and get specific. Say something that specifically says what’s ‘amazing’ about the apple, i.e. – juicy, sweet, crisp.


  • Check your grammar. Grammar is the structure that conveys precise meaning from the writer to the reader. Proper spelling, verb usage, right placement of commas, periods and quotation marks, etc. allows your audience to sit back and enjoy your hard work.

In 1750 Benjamin Franklin composed a letter describing his groundbreaking experiments involving electricity and sent it to a member of the Royal Society in London. Franklin excused the length of his report as follows: 

“I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.”

You won’t need to apologize for your work if you self-edit it first.




Jasmyne Consulting - 30 year’s experience - Creative Book Writing Coach/Editor for Memoirs and Novels, helping clients overcome writer’s block to successfully complete and publish their work. She helps writers at all levels including ESL clients. Freelance writing for resumes, proposals business and query letters, blogs, brochures, websites.

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