Monday, October 1, 2012

If Editing Takes You Longer Than Writing Perhaps It's Time to Readjust Your Strategy?

Not long ago, I was talking to a fellow writer and they noted that their toughest job was editing. Well, as a very prolific online article writer I completely concur. In fact, when I'm using speech recognition software I can put out an article, one about every 5 minutes, especially if it is a topic that I'm very fluent in and have a lot of experience. However, the editing takes me at least that long or longer. If I do a quick read through and catch the obvious errors, I can do that with a 400 word article in about 4 to 5 minutes.

However, if I want to ensure it is perfect, that means I need to go and work on the grammar, change some wording, and next thing I know I'm into that article for 30 minutes. You see, what would have been very quick, is now taking a tremendous amount of time. My acquaintance noted that; "if your editing is taking you longer than the actual writing, then perhaps it's time that you readjust your strategy." Now then, if I'm not using speech recognition software and I am busy typing away, I will make fewer mistakes, and therefore spend less time on the "once-through editing" that is to say a simple read through catching the most obvious mistakes.

The challenge is editing your own work right after you've just done it. It's very easy to read right through something that you wrote, because you seem to be talking to yourself inside your head as you're reading it, and since you already know what it says, you read right through your own mistakes. However, if you put your writing down, and come back to it later, any blatant mistake will jump right out at you. Just as if you were reading someone else's work, you will find mistakes that they missed while rereading it.

Now then, taking my acquaintance's advice it surely makes sense to write perhaps 10 articles, and then come back and edit those 10, and then start on a new batch. This will increase your productivity, and prevent you from spending so much time editing without fixing all the mistakes. You will basically become a secondary person editing your own work, because it will no longer be fresh in your mind. It may take you a little longer to read through it, but you will catch all the mistakes, or at least 99% of them, and that's the important thing with online article writing. Please consider all this and think on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment