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.
The Book Catalysts]. It’s done! Your first draft, with all your best ideas, information, and advice finally on paper. What a terrific accomplishment. We’re advocates for the fast and furious first draft and doing whatever it takes to get a draft down in short order and without stopping to edit or polish.
But now what?Completing the first-draft stage can lead to anxious moments. One of our clients produced a first draft by writing almost daily over a period of three months. She achieved this by carving out 20 to 40 minute stretches in her already busy schedule. “It was an exhilarating time,” she told us, “but now I look at my draft and wonder what to do with this mess. It’s my baby, but now I wonder how I’ll ever be able to edit these clunky pages.” Good news. She doesn’t have to think about editing. Not yet. And if you have a first draft completed, neither do you. Instead, it’s time for a second draft. Sure, a lucky few produce fairly well-behaved first drafts, meaning they wrote the information in roughly the same sequence it will appear in the book.
BookBaby president Brian Felsen interviewed Constance Hale, an American writer based in Oakland, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her journalism has appeared in metropolitan newspapers and national magazines, but she is best known for her books on language: Sin and Syntax Wired Style.
Before you self-publish, consider the benefits of proper editing. All the long, lonely hours that you spent at your keyboard will have been wasted if you don’t get your manuscript professionally edited. This constitutes line editing, preferably, or proofreading at a minimum. Nothing turns off a reader more quickly than grammar or spelling errors. To paraphrase an old adage, your writing will “never get a second chance to make a first impression.”