Being a demanding self-editor is a must if you want to be the best writer you can be. What's the point of pouring weeks, months, or years into a manuscript, then settling for something other than your very best work?
The paradox is that writing comes from self, and yet sometimes self has to be purged from the final product for readers to find it fulfilling and finished. Such a polished feel is a key part of the reader’s perception of a book being professional and high quality. There are no fingerprints on the mirror showing the artist was there working, just a clear reflection of the world the writer is trying to create.
There is so much writing advice and knowledge accumulated over the ages, yet no one seems to fully agree on what makes outstanding writing. It is more that we just know it when we read it. Think about the fact that we all have different favorite books. Whether it is Meyer’s Twilight saga or Dante’s Inferno, some books just stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
Self-editing can be harder than writing because we grow to love our creations, and we often have difficulty seeing them objectively. We have a hard time destroying the little superfluous bits that keep our manuscripts from greatness because it feels like we’re destroying pieces of ourselves.