Doing a bit of research myself was the only way to sort out my confusion on whose side to take on the battle, which seems to be going on for ages, that quality has been having against quantity. With quantity favouring me big time for all this while, I had to take the drastic change by switching over to quality. I tell you, with editing also in the package, it was not easy.
After figuring what the package has before I started the whole process, I embraced myself. Four edits for an 800-word article was stretching myself to the limit.
Old School is too Cool!
I have tried editing in the laptop, but it just does not get my creative juices to flow. The good old style of editing on paper with a pencil helped me better than the digital form and added to that; it made me feel like Picasso as I fervently crafted my article.
I guess the High Definition screen made the letters clear but blinded the errors. The sound of scribble as the pencil goes about editing can not be replaced by any modern pen.
The first edit!
This was the easiest. The article did not need much of editing because half of it was missing. I began writing the remaining half and later added it in the digital version. While doing the double change (on paper and digital), my eyes caught the glitches better.
The second edit!
The second edit was the most cumbersome of them all. Out of enthusiasm that my article was finally shaping up, I ended up creating empty pockets throughout the article. Getting opinions from friends gave me fresh pairs of eyes and the power to look beyond the text and between the lines. It was at the end of this edit the article finally took shape, and I could smile as the article was now worthy to be posted as it stood at a good score of 950 words.
The third edit!
The third was finding better alternatives to words and checking on sentences and grammar. With the little changes, and a cut of 150 words the article felt better weaved.
The final edit!
As I consciously reduced the word count, I had to make sure I don’t cut out the meaning. The very last edit, in the digital format, was to do a final check of the structure, font sizes, pictures and grammar.
Before breakfast, in my ritualistic mornings, was when I did the edit on paper.
One giveaway for you is to make sure you properly space out one edit from the other and to be prepared for any number of iterations. The more, the merrier but knowing when to stop is crucial as well else people like William Zinsser would have ended up his book On Writing Well, with, “Well folks, the secret to writing well is to write well”.
“Being your own critique is challenging but rewarding.“
If 800 words took me four edits and three days, imagine an 80,000-word novel. Hats off to all the authors out there!
“Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self-criticism”. I don’t know if Einstein said that, but it makes a lot of sense.