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How to Edit Your Own Writing

How to Edit Your Own Writing Writing is hard, but don’t overlook the difficulty — and the importance — of editing your own work before letting others see it. Here’s how.
Credit...George Wylesol By Harry Guinness Published April 7, 2020Updated April 10, 2020

The secret to good writing is good editing. It’s what separates hastily written, randomly punctuated, incoherent rants from learned polemics and op-eds, and cringe-worthy fan fiction from a critically acclaimed novel. By the time this article is done, I’ll have edited and rewritten each line at least a few times. Here’s how to start editing your own work. Understand that what you write first is a draft It doesn’t matter how good you think you are as a writer — the first words you put on the page are a first draft. Writing is thinking: It’s rare that you’ll know exactly what you’re going to say before you say it. At the end, you need, at the very least, to go back through the draft, tidy everything up and make sure the introduction yo…