One of the most important steps to writing a good blog is knowing how to self edit. Knowing how to do this important part properly actually frees you up to be able to write a first draft closer to what you imagined simply because you’re not worried about spelling and grammar through the first run. When you know you can go back and edit later, you’re able to concentrate on what you want to say.
Here are a few more helpful tips about self editing.
- Look To Chop Words. Good editing is like word surgery. You want to be able to go through the blog and cut the words that you can do without. I often find you can do without that in many instances. Watch for other words that are quite often unnecessary like very, a modifier that quite often does nothing to add to any sentence.
- Watch Those LY Modifiers. There are different ways to describe an emotion or feeling, but using an ly modifier in the blog isn’t one of the best. For example, when you write that someone looked pleasantly at someone else, you’re really not telling the reader too much, except for the fact the subject of the sentence is pleased. When you write something like, His smile was so wide a side of his face crinkled, you give that same reader a vivid image of what you’re talking about.
Many writers don’t really enjoy the editing process because by and large it’s the least creative part of writing a blog. Still it’s the most necessary. One of the writers I’ve read compared the editing of his manuscript to cleaning a dirty light shade. He said eventually and as more and more layers were stripped away, the real meaning of what he was getting at was left shining through.
Many times people overlook the basics in self editing and sometimes technology makes it hard to concentrate on what you need to. For instance, even though the Word program has a spell check that many people use, and it does catch some things, it’s not the best for deciding what you want to do about others. For example this program will alert you to the fact that words like there and their are often mixed up but it’s up to you to understand the difference and the correct usage for each word.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use automated spellcheckers. What it does mean is that you should understand the limitations of each so that when you’re using them, you’ll know what might have slipped through the cracks.
In the end there’s really no substitution for reading your blog out loud and keeping your eyes focused for any spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s easy to let your mind wander away and that’s why I find reading the text out loud to yourself is the best method to catch mistakes. When you’re finished a careful self edit, you’ll be pleased with the way the blog sounds afterwards.