Editing is the Worst: Three Tips to Help It Not Be

Jenny Curtis


I am a writer and an academic. I write for blogs, for this website, for academic reasons, and I write poetry and probably too long emails to friends. I write all day and sometimes all night.

There is one thing I know for sure about writing and it is this: editing is the worst. I hate it. I hate thinking about it. I hate the dread of it. It is not fun! But also, I am decent at it and have been a professional editor.

So, lesson one: Hating something does not mean you have to avoid it, or that you can’t be good at it! It just means you have to find ways to make it a bit more pleasant. Now, lesson two: We can make it better!

Here are three ways I have found in my own experiences as a writer that help me conquer and deal with editing.

  1. I edit as I go. Is that bad? Is that what you are supposed to do? Who cares. It works for me. No, I don’t just follow the lines and yelling of whatever spell check program I am using, I actually write a paragraph and read it again just to be sure it is okay before moving on. And sometimes this is enough. But sometimes of course, depending on the piece, I will edit as I go and then edit or proofread, rather, at the end. Proofreading is fun. Really, it is!
  2. I give it space and time. If I have time before a piece is due, either on my deadline or on someone else’s I will let that baby rest a bit before I go back to it, give it that proofread/edit, and send it in.
  3. Lastly, I don’t over think. Nothing is as perfect as it will ever be in my mind, or your mind for that matter. I will never be able to say all of the words I want to say about something, or even things I would like to say, but I do my best, drop the perfectionism, and let it go.

These three things tend to help me out as a writer and as an editor.

Writers, my friends, I know and you know we will always have more ideas, new ideas, better ideas, or we will always feel like we have left something out or like something could have been said better. We have those minds that won’t quit! Editing is about making our minds feel at least satisfied enough to calm down and get started on the next piece. Best of luck fellow writers!

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Jenny is a poet, writer, mother and teacher. She is just a girl in the world, new to town and learning to love this city - Reno, NV. She writes about all things local from food, to fun, to what you need to know to have a good day, good week, or good time in The Biggest Little City. Jenny loves books and will encourage that love of books with her book reviews. She also writes about relationships, dating, parenting, and other topics when the muse moves her. Follow her for good food, good books, and good fun especially in the Biggest Little City in the world.

Reno, NV

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