Writing is hard. Editing your writing is harder.

Proofreader marksMake a mess, then clean it up, a writing teacher once told me. He was speaking about first drafts, of course, and while the perfectionist in many of us may find making that mess difficult (we want it perfect the first time!), it’s great advice for getting those words on paper.

The next step, cleaning it up, is even harder. Editing those hard-won words is more than necessary, for while most of us are loath to admit that there is anything extraneous or, God forbid, wrong, in our first draft, the editor in us knows it’s true.

The folks at Poynter have some excellent advice for editing our own work. Read it here, and remember that as far as your OSV book manuscript, our team of editors is on your side to make your book the best it can be.

P.S. I’d add to this list: Let some time pass before you try to edit yourself. A week is good, if you can spare it, but even a day will help bring some perspective to your work.

Let us know what works for you!

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