The goal of any writer, editor, or otherwise is to have their work read as quickly and effortlessly by readers. It’s important that you’re able to hit those high notes because if not then people will simply stop reading! But don’t worry there are lots of ways to self-edit your own writing (so even when an editor isn’t available), they can still enjoy what was written without feeling too frustrated with how difficult it might’ve been understood due in large part thanks to all these tips below:
Paper over screen
You can find spelling mistakes, sentence fragments, and run-ons more easily when reading your words on the printed page because they are easier to spot than trying to track them down against a bright computer screen; you might even want to change up some formatting if that helps give an alternative perspective of what’s happening in each paragraph.
Do you hear yourself?
As a writer, you want to make sure that what comes out sounds witty and intelligent. But how do we know if our writing actually does either? The best way for me as an author was when I heard myself talk back in real-time while editing. Listening to how your writing sounds can also help you listen for lines that don’t sound right, like characterless sentences or overuse of particular phrases. Sometimes a writer doesn’t realize their sentence structure is poor until they hear it read aloud.
Edit each line
When you’re editing your own work, it’s important to look closely at the words that were written. A good editor will systematically go through every line of a piece and I suggest doing this as well so any outstanding issues can be found like grammatical errors or typos before they become distracting in tone with other aspects of content. It is a tedious process that may seem difficult but when done properly these tasks should not take too long-just patience!
Take a break
We all know the feeling of staring at our computer screens wondering what we are doing with our lives. When you first start writing, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your thoughts and not see what is written. Stepping away from the document will allow for a fresh perspective that can help with improving sentence structure as well as creative issues like clutter or lackluster subjects.
Editing your own work isn’t easy but finishing the job by making changes on paper can feel satisfying. While most would argue that you cannot beat a professional editor here are a few online tools that can help any writer.
What if I told you there was no such thing as writer’s block? Here are 3 quick tips for beating writer’s block. The only time a person gets “writer’s block” is when they stop writing. And even then, it doesn’t exist because by not doing anything we create an idea in our head and make ourselves think about what comes next instead of just sitting around waiting for something to come along naturally like magic!
Do not be afraid to Fail
Your writing might not be perfect, but that’s the whole point. In fact, the more you do it the better! When you stop being afraid and allow yourself the freedom to just write, your words will come out more creatively and with a better tone of voice. And yes, I am going to edit later either way so…
Don’t set unreachable goals
Remember that writer who sat down and wrote a novel in one night? Yeah, I don’t either. Setting goals is an important part of any personal development journey, but it’s also something that can be challenging. The first step to goal-setting success should always involve setting achievable targets and not unrealistic objectives because if they are too high then you’re more likely just going to backslide instead of improving yourself in some form or fashion.
When you’re feeling stuck in a creative rut, it can be tempting to give up on all your projects. But the reality of life is that we will often only work on one thing at once–and if this doesn’t click for some reason or another-you just switch over until something does!
You are not blocked, you just got too much greatness going.
There are so many great ideas in your head but nothing that meets the criteria for greatness! The key here though is not to get discouraged when it feels like there isn’t anything worth writing about; instead focus on what inspires or interests YOU personally – because after all this will be something only made up by yourself anyway :). Also check out our article 6 Tips for Beginners.
Every writer wants to improve in their craft. These six tips for beginners will help you grow as a beginning writer.
1. Keep a notebook with details of your characters:
Keeping the essential details about your characters together in one place will help you think better and write faster. You can combine character sheets, timelines, and plot notes into one document that allows you to jot down what happens when while keeping track of who said what. This is known as writing organically.
2. Set a goal for daily writing
Before you know it, your imagination can take control and you find yourself spending hours at a time in front of your computer screen, even though there’s no real inspiration going on in your head. This is something which I have seen happen several times with newcomers – they just don’t know when to stop! You should ideally set a target word or page count each day and then try to complete that every day. Try not to go over this throughout the first draft of your novel.
3. Balancing dialogue throughout your story.
It is important to balance your dialogue so that it doesn’t feel like one side of the story has more weight than another. This can be difficult when you have a long stretch without any speech or thought-provoking moments in between characters’ lines, but this will help keep readers engaged with what they’re reading! The goal for every character in a story should be to make the reader feel what they’re going through. To do this, you need your audience’s imagination on full blast.
4. Don’t be a broken record.
Watch out for repetition because it will make you look like a broken record. Style is a vital part of any story, and each writer has their own unique way to tell the tale. The best way to make your writing more engaging and interesting for the reader is by adding some variety to how you describe things. Avoid using words or phrases that have been repetitively used before because this will only result in a lackluster experience from both sides: readers won’t be able to get sufficiently excited about what they’re reading while writers might feel like their work isn’t worth putting time into anymore due solely on sheer repetition.
5. Writing location.
When you are working on your story, it is important that the environment be one where there aren’t any distractions. A journal or piece of paper at hand can help with ideas for what comes next while also serving as an easy way to note down anything else going through your mind when writing them out later; however, if these things aren’t available then try using a napkin from a restaurant – just make sure not to scrawl over anything! A specific workspace will allow you more peace so don’t worry about getting creative- find something comfortable and cozy in whichever room suits you best.
6. Keep going
Sometimes the words won’t come. You’ll think of something brilliant then an hour later, it’s gone, and you have no idea what was wrong or how to fix it! This happens for many reasons: tiredness from waking early in order to start writing; distractions like social media popping up while trying desperately not to refresh your browser out of fear that this might stop any progress made so far…whatever reason applies – just keep going because eventually, things will improve (or at least I hope). The key here isn’t getting discouraged when faced with challenges such as writer’s block.
It’s a new year, and as writers, we have all set goals when it comes to writing. If you’re like me, you get very excited and proclaim to the world that you’re going to write one millllllion words in 2018 (said in your best Oprah voice)! We picture ourselves in some quaint rustic cabin overlooking a glistening landscape of snow, and there we are sitting by the fire eagerly typing away at a vintage typewriter. It’s a scene straight out of a movie and we look beautiful as the kind of writer everyone else longs to be.
Then we wake up.
Oh, we want to write like that but the reality of our life is instead of a cabin we have a messy house. The snow is actually a mirage for the mountains of laundry we still need to get done. And there’s absolutely no time to sit by a fire because the kids are screaming, our “real job” is asking for overtime, and our computer keeps crashing and causing us to say words that Jesus wouldn’t like.
The life of a writer is usually not at all what people think it is. With a new year already in full force, we have to carve out time to write or it simply won’t get done. It is very easy to keep putting off the blog post, the article, or that novel we know we need to write, but I want to remind you of something that is so easy to forget.
People need your words.
As writers, we have something to say and no one else can share our message or our story like we can. We have a voice and the beautiful thing about our craft is that we share that voice through the written word. As you are contemplating whether or not to start or to finish, there are people out in the world waiting to read your words. They don’t even know they need them yet but the world has a way of connecting readers with writers and making a real difference.
Writing helps us express a part of our life that needs to be fulfilled. It deepens our understanding of how our gifts work together to connect us all as humans. So yes, writing is about us but it’s also about them. Without your words, they might miss out on a chance to laugh which diffuses the stress of their day.
Your story might give someone the chance to escape from the day-to-day and immerse themselves in another world. Your words might change the way someone thinks about a particular issue or they might give someone the strength to believe that their life matters too.
Yes, your words have power and meaning and can make an eternal difference.
So if you need a little motivation to start, I’m here to give you the green light! If you’re overwhelmed and not sure if you should keep going, I’m here to cheer you on! I am standing up and screaming YES, write! You’re a writer and we need your words! Give yourself permission to get up early, to stay up late, or retreat to your room for a few minutes and write. Let 2018 be the year that you use this amazing gift that you have been given. There’s a world out there that needs it and we can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
Kevin Buchanan is a motivational writer and speaker and loves calling Nashville home. He is the author of The World Needs Your Hustle and encourages others to embrace the truth that their life matters and to believe in what is possible for their life. He is a lover of Target, Chick Fil A, and all things buffalo plaid. You can learn more about Kevin’s work and upcoming projects at kevinbuchanan.me