What part of the writing process is the hardest?

Fleshing out the original idea with enough detail is no easy task. Then again, writing draft after draft until said idea is clear and concise can also send a writer scurrying to find that happy place. Putting your pride and joy into the hands of an editor who might change this or that for whatever reason is pretty nerve-racking, too. Make it through all that, though, and you’re ready for a cool drink and an afternoon in the hammock.

Wait. What? Left something out, didn’t I?

Editing your work … proofreading … blue penciling … call it what you will. Finding errors in text that you’ve looked at over and over again can be nearly impossible. And there, my friends, lies the challenge. When we write, even something as short as a memo, our brains know the content so well that our eyes no longer see what’s printed before them. Yet, unless you’re able to hire someone to check everything you write, you’ll have to develop some proven editing practices that will trick your brain and allow your eyes to do their job.

Every writer eventually develops some method that works. For me, printing off the document is key. Once I have paper in hand, I kick back, take my time and focus on looking for one type of error at a time.

How do you edit your own work?

how to edit infographic-2


Cocktail image and infographic ©The Eloquent Word


  1. Hi Rosemary, I do a couple of things. If time permits, I write a first draft and then set it aside for at least 24 hours and do a rewrite. But in daily journalism, there is never the time. So I used to print it out and then go somewhere quiet and read it out loud, listening for rhythm and word choice and flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, come up with the original idea and providing enough details is not an easy task. For proofreading and editing, reading backwards really works for me specially work emails and my clients’ resumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Printing out your ms is good, but NOTHING beats a second pair of eyes. It never ceases to amaze me what I can miss, despite proofing a ms a dozen times.


  4. Thanks for the tips! I am notorious for not re-reading, editing and fixing work before hitting publish and by that point it’s too late. I am in the process of changing some bad habits.

    Liked by 1 person

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