Chapter 4

Self-Editing: Professional Ways to Improve Your Work


check Switching to the editor’s role

check Using shortcut techniques to fix problems

check Activating language with strong verbs

check Avoiding pitfalls that undermine clarity and impact

If you expect to create a successful email, letter, or business document in just one shot, think again. Don’t ask so much of yourself. Very, very few professional writers can accomplish a finished piece — whether they write novels, plays, articles, websites, or press releases — with their first draft. This especially includes writers known for their simplicity and easy reading.

Editing is how writers write. For them, the writing and editing processes are inseparable because they wouldn’t dream of submitting work to anyone that is less than their very best. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the notion of editing their own work. But equipped with effective methods and techniques, you can edit with confidence.

Mastering hundreds of grammar rules is not necessary to becoming a good editor. Know the clues that reveal where your writing needs ...

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