China WhatsApp Number ListI love editing. It is, by far, my most favorite part of writing.

I love editing my own work, other Chile WhatsApp Number List people’s work. Thus, bad copy on my dentist’s website … Give me a rough draft with poor sentence structure and I’ll entertain myself for hours.

Most writers seem to have a Chile WhatsApp Number List relationship with editing. And I get it:

Becoming a serious editor, one who can pinpoint deep weaknesses in a piece of writing, is hard. Especially when that piece of writing is yours.

It’s much easier to review your work for grammar mistakes, change a few words to improve flow, and call it “edited.” We grow attached to our words and don’t like cutting something we love — even if it would benefit our content marketing.

Although editing can sometimes feel heartless, it’s one of a writer’s most powerful tools.

By embracing a practice of “Ruthless Editing,” you can actually become a more creative, productive, and empathetic writer.

Meeting my first Ruthless Editor

I didn’t always love editing. As a green teenage writer, brimming with adjectives and enthusiasm, I rarely edited my own work.

Like many writers, I was in love with the artistry. I filled countless spiral-bound notebooks with emotional poems, essays, and journal entries.

I loved writing so much that I decided it should be my livelihood. Journalism seemed like a viable career path, so I joined the school newspaper during my first semester of college.

The newspaper advisor was a slight, passionate woman who I could easily imagine in her former life: behind a paper-strewn news desk, cigarette dangling from her lips, always on her way to capture the next breaking story.

Unlike my grade-school writing teachers, this professor did not give one whit about word count. To her, a draft could always be shorter, tighter.

Her strict adherence to AP style and the inverted pyramid forced every student to learn to cut, cut, cut.

At first, I resented her and her biting red pen. She didn’t care about my work or how I stayed up late to meet her challenging deadlines.

But over time, I began to realize she was working in service of a higher goal.

The hard lesson every writer needs to learn

To become a good self-editor, you have to learn to be honest with yourself about your writing. And that’s a hard lesson.

As a teenager, I had my own goals. When I received feedback I didn’t like, I simply brushed it aside. How could others know what was right for my writing?

But with the college newspaper, there was another goal: Clear communication to our readers — to make sure students knew what was happening on their campus; anything else was incidental.

Unlike when I was a “pure artist,” every sentence didn’t have intrinsic value. Some information was useful, other information was not. Period.

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