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Monday, July 15, 2013

Guest Post: Sandra Miller, Writer from New York

Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller is a writer and lives in New York. Two times a year she watches Friends sitcom. She loves salsa. Uses professional editing services help to write great material. Her passion is Latin American Culture.

Edit Your Own Writing Material with 8 Easy Techniques

            It is a fact that pretty much anybody can become a writer, with our without proper training. But the main question is do they have the potential to write something with quality content that people would be interested in reading? A crucial component that distinguishes an “okay” writer to a great one is how they edit their writing material.
            Not everyone has the convenience to hire their own personal editor to go through their work, unless you work in a big magazine or newspaper company at least. But if you only have yourself to go through your work, then it is best to find out the tips of the trade to edit your work with high quality. Make sure that you do a job well done to add more quality to your written material.
            Here are 8 simple yet very efficient techniques in editing your writing material:

    1.     Edit after you write
      This is an important step because editing while writing could still leave you with mistakes all throughout your paper. Finish your writing before actually editing. Stopping to fix a typo or to fix the sentence you are working on is fine, but going through the whole paragraph might be time consuming and you might still miss a few errors. So remember, write first and then edit.

    2.     Give a few days for your writing
         Don’t try to cram your writing all in one day. It is wise to give it a couple days for writing and editing so that your brain is fresh to work. During the day, you can write for one to two hours, after give yourself a break for around 30 minutes or so, you may then continue writing again. By doing this, you’ll come up with new thoughts to put in your writing work.

    3.     Try reading through an entirely different format
           By reading through your work in a different format, you can identify mistakes easily. What made sense in another format may sound unusual in another.

           Here’s a trick to try out, try emailing or printing out your writing content and you may spot the words and thoughts that may not fit in.

    4.    Proofread content and structure
          Before you start editing sentence by sentence, take a look at your structure and content first. Look in a broad aspect first before you go specific. The major errors should be worked on first before you start on individual words and sentences.

    5.    Cut out unnecessary words
        The rule is, cut out at least 10% of your words. When you’re finished revising the flow of your piece you can start working on cutting out words. A common mistake in writing is over-writing. Instead of getting straight to the point, some writers include words that are irrelevant which can weaken your writing material. Try doing a word count and cut out 10% of the words. Look out for the following:

·  Repetition of the same thought over and over. Trust that the reader will understand it the first time. Make all your sentences strong enough for them to actually comprehend it.

·  Remove unnecessary phrases and get straight to the point

    6.     Be alert and use Spell Check
            Remember that the spell checker is your new best friend. When using your Word program, run it a few times while writing when you see the red wiggly line underneath a word.
         Even though this is a reliable tool on Word, don’t just rely on it 100%. Use your eyes too and reread whenever you feel like you need to. Spell check might not detect all errors.

    7.    Read your writing material slowly
           Reading your writing material slowly will allow you to catch the words, phrases and sentences that just don’t make sense.

    8.     No one is perfect
           With this in mind, remember that once you feel like you’ve done everything you can to edit your piece that it is alright to pass it in. No one writing material can be perfect. Readers will still be appreciative of the work you have done even if it isn’t written to pure perfection.