Reading Your Own Work Critically

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

– Jack Kerouac.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash.

Perhaps the most difficult challenge for writers is reading and re-seeing your own work objectively, critically, and attentively, as a reader would. Re-seeing or revising our own work requires us to be actively and critically present. Observe.

Revision and editing are different tasks. ‘In revising, notes Jane Aaron, ‘you make fundamental changes in content and structure: you work below the surface of the draft. Then in editing, you make changes in the revised draft’s sentences and words: you work on the surface, attending to style, grammar, punctuation, and the like. The separation of these two stages is important because attention to little changes distracts from a view of the whole. If you try to edit while you revise, you’ll be more likely to miss the big picture. You may also waste effort perfecting sentences you’ll later decide to cut.’

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash.

Still, it is errors which make a writer, a writer. Writing is hard. Period. We must push through this hardness. Dear writer, a writer never arrives at perfection—he is always improving.

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