I know. When you’ve read and reread and rewritten and copied and pasted and rewritten your own work a hundred thousand times, it kills you a little bit on the inside to edit it yet again. I know it feels as though you’ve gotten everything right on the first try and nothing more can be said about it. I know it feels as though every red mark or dashed line created by Word’s autocorrect system or every red pen slash from your typewriter is a lie. I know it hurts. No, really, I know how much it hurts.
Sometimes you get sick of your own writing. You beg your friends to read it for you or your English teachers or your ever-patient loved ones. Or you pony up the money and pay for a professional editor. But, my dear friends, I’m afraid that the editing process begins with you.
Yes, unfortunately, that is correct. You read it correctly. And you read this sentence correctly, as well. You are your own first editor.
I’m sure Shakespeare or Dickens or Poe didn’t simply write “THE END” and call it a day. No, my dear readers, I’m almost certain of that.
So, if Shakespeare could reread his manuscripts and cross every “t” in thou or dot every “i” in villain, then I’m sure you can edit your own story, as well.
Here are some tips to make it more fun. Daydream about your future successes once you’re finally through with this manuscript. Make a hot cup of tea, cider, cocoa, or coffee to warm your poor, aching fingers. Maybe have a pet cat or dog or ferret at your side. But never give up hope, my fellow editing-dreading friends.
Never give up on your baby manuscript. It’ll thank you… someday.