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The most helpful bit of editing advice I ever got was from poet Michele Glazer. She said, “revision IS writing.

In other words, there’s no difference between the “writing” process and the editing process. You don’t just write a draft, make some changes, correct the spelling, and call it good.

As a writer, you need to be open to new ideas that may occur during the revision process, and be brave enough to follow them  — thus, leading you back into a writing mode. See? Revision IS writing, so it’s best to just accept that fact upfront.

Having said all that, I realize that’s just the method that’s worked for me. Plenty of other writers have success when they stick to a writing schedule, write-write-write, and then save the editing for the end. Other writers barrel through a draft and then hand it off to a writing group or workshop.

And while it’s always advisable to enlist the help of an editing professional before you publish anything, you CAN take care of a lot of the editing work beforehand. Here’s a series of articles that will help you find the editing process that works best for you.

The top 10 articles about editing your book

1. Seven Editing Questions to Ask Yourself 

2. How to Edit While You Write: 3 Tips on Balancing Progress with Perfectionism

3. An Editing Checklist

4. The Editing Recipe

5. Author S.J. Rozan’s Method of Iterative Revision

6. Revising a Novel

7. Tighten Up Your Manuscript

8. How I Edit

9. How to Revise Your Novel Through a Read-Aloud-and-Critique Workshop

10. How to Rewrite


What’s your editing process? Have you changed it up over the years? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 502 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

3 thoughts on “How to Edit Your Own Book: Tips from Authors on the Revision Process

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