Yeah … I really don’t like it.
But, since we have to do it to improve, I gathered just a few tips to get us through the revision/editing process.
1. Just Read: I said this in a text post earlier, but it’s true, so I’m including it. Even if you’re just looking it over, it counts as editing. That may not sound satisfying, but it’s a first step, and effort is what matters here.
2. It’s Easy to Criticize: so just do that. Don’t touch the document or the paper. Bring up a little notepad, and just go through, keeping notes on what works and what doesn’t and why. What does it need? What can you do to improve? If nothing else, what feels off?
3. Learn to Speed-Read/Skim: If you don’t have time, or just don’t want to go in-depth tonight when you’re editing, just skim through it. Naturally, your eyes want to follow your finger, and you’ll actually read faster if you point to the words your on like you did in kindergarten. There’s plenty of other strategies for speed-reading on the internet, but that’s one I use (even on my computer screen).
4. Break it Up: Maybe you have a lot of editing to do, but only so much willpower (and time) to do it. That’s perfectly fine. Small progress is still progress! After all, 3 days of doing a little editing at a time is still better than 3 days of procrastination. It all adds up.
5. Be Specific: When I edit essays for school, I always have to do several different read-throughs for several different problems. One for little grammar mistakes, one for awkward phrasing, and definitely one to make sure everything makes sense. Stuff like that.