This is a post I wrote a little while ago, and decided to go ahead and post today. Because . . . I'm about ready to tackle editing, so I needed a reminder. ;)
I’m one of these writers who likes to edit as I write. I just can’t stand to look back at what I’ve written and have it filled with mistakes that would only take a second to fix.
That being said, I’ve also written a novel during NaNo, where it was near impossible to edit as you write. I mean, you can fix a spelling real quick, but your novel is going to need tons of editing when you’re done. It’s kinda an inevitable hidden downfall of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. ;)
So I thought I’d share some tips that I’ve found useful for editing the first draft of your novel. Hopefully they can encourage you no matter where you may be in your editing!
(1.) Break it up into sections.
Make a second document (word doc, Google doc, whatever you use) and copy and paste those three pages into it. You’ll have a clean sheet in front of you, and only a limited amount of words to work with. Instead of scrolling down and seeing all those mistakes, each day you’ll be filling more pages with edited words. And I know for me that’s a huge thing. And it makes me feel so much better about my story, and it’s so much easier to make the time to edit!
(2.) Get motivated
Accountability plays a huge role in motivation! Having a writing friend who will commit to check up on you if a huge way to keep motivated.
Another way that works for me, but I’ll admit is kinda weird, is giving in and getting a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I’ll set it in front of me on the desk I normally use for writing, and I don’t
let myself read it till I’ve finished editing my manuscript, or edited half or it, or some such thing. It may seem silly, but it works for me!
Timers also work great. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes to start, and then work on nothing but editing for that time. Not only will you get your work done, putting on that timer helps rule out procrastination devices, such as pinterest. ;)
But as Christian writers, our faith needs to shine through in our writing. Writing is such a huge part of our life, and we need God’s guidance in this area as well as any other area in our lives.
Before you sit to edit, pray. Pray that God would show you what He wants to shine forth through your writing. And trust me, when you pray and ask God’s guidance, editing becomes a whole lot easier. Because now you’re excited to see what God will do and where He’ll take your story.