Unless you’re literally God you have to edit your writing. More often than not, the first draft of anything is… interesting. You’re throwing words down rapidly and sometimes you’re not even looking at what you’re saying.
For instance, take a gander at Facebook or Twitter and count how many mistakes you see in posts. Check back a couple hours later and see how many of those posts have been edited.
Sometimes it takes a couple hours to notice you’ve made an error.
There are many kinds of people when it comes to writing but I’m only going to focus on two.
- The Instant Editor.
- The Procrastinating Editor.
In my family, we have one of each. My eldest brother is the former and I’m the latter. Neither of the two are wrong, but they’re very different!
The Instant Editor I like to think of as someone planning a quick but risky comment on something. They’re fired up and they know they need to be careful about how they phrase things. Each sentence could take up to five minutes to plan and by the end of those five minutes, they still might not be satisfied.
Instant editors like doing things immediately. They’ll write a few pages or maybe a few words and then go back and edit them. It saves time in the long run and perhaps it has it’s flaws, but it’s just another brand of writers.
Meanwhile, I’m a Procrastinating Editor. I type faster than my brain computes and I don’t stop until the whole thing is done. I wrote a post way back in the beginning of my blog about this called Don’t Look Back.
These kind of editors find that they’re more likely to actually finish the piece if they don’t stop. Going back to question a sentences wording interrupts the flow of the story for them and chances are they’ll never finish writing the work that way because they’ll get bored.
But there is no real right or wrong path to editing. As I always say, I don’t write this blog to tell you how to write, I do it to help you find your path to successful literature.
Perhaps you’re an Instant Editor or you’re a Procrastinating Editor. Either way, I’d love to hear what you think about these two types of editing and tell me which one you are.