Learn To Edit Without Sweat and Regret
After we click the cursor on our computer to release our God-given thoughts, we dream of publication … (Cue the heavenly visions of blue skies and puffy, white clouds.) Then, sometimes, horror strikes. The dreaded errors glare at us with raised eyebrows and pronounce their judgments: the red-hot heat flush, the sweat of panic, the pang of nausea that plunges our heart to the depths of embarrassment, and the powerlessness of missed opportunity. We go from a high-on-the-mountain finish to a low-in-the-valley standstill.
Why edit your writing with sweat and regret? Transform your editing stress to an editing mindset. Here are five habits to help you create an editing mindset:
Allow ample time.
There may be times we write to a tight deadline with all our t’s crossed and i’s dotted. However, it is rare to craft quality work when rushed. Good, consistent writing comes from good, consistent habits. Allow ample time for the entire writing process, especially while learning.
A quiet mind can be tough to hold on to when the world’s demands needle us. Do you sense the peace of God’s presence? Invite Him into your writing and whisper a word of prayer over your work. Now, edit.
Multitasking with our writing invites errors, putting us on edge. Don’t do it. (Please.)
Be relaxed but not too relaxed.
We planned ahead, way in advance. We did a victory dance, but there it is — the error. Caught off guard, we panic, convinced that nothing in our writing is clear. Instead, keep the mindset that editing takes time. Remain steadfast and visit your writing often until the deadline. Between writing activities, relax your mind, not your discipline or attention to detail.
Have someone review your writing before you click “Send.”
Sometimes, we can’t see an error. We read and reread our writing countless times. Yet our vision blurs and blinds us. We need the fresh eyes of another reader to catch mistakes. Ask a friend or your critique group to read over your writing. This habit takes planning and brings us back to the first habit: Allow ample time.
The writing life is a mindset, and the editing process is no exception. Implementing these habits will help you feel confident and learn to edit without sweat and regret.
Which one of these habits will you focus on first? Which one helps you the most?
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