If you need to edit a document, here are 4 simple & actionable ways to begin.
🔑 READ IT OUT LOUD || You will be amazed at how quickly your brain automatically fills in missing words or letters for you. However, if you read your writing out loud to yourself (or your pet, or your sleeping spouse, whatev), you will immediately notice sentences that don’t make sense, or places where you have missed words. Reading aloud forces you to go slower and gives your brain the pause it needs to see and hear what’s missing. Try it. I swear it works.
🔑 A PAUSE = A COMMA || As you read out loud, each time your voice naturally pauses, you should have a comma. This rule doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it is a very good way to begin a self-edit.
🔑 READ IT BACKWARDS || I may lose you with this one, but I promise…if spelling is your poison, this trick is your magic potion. Here’s how it works: Begin with a paragraph. Find the last sentence in the paragraph and begin to read it backwards. Start with the last word and work your way to the beginning of the sentence. Because you don’t know what word is “supposed” to come next, your brain won’t miss anything. Each word will stick out, making it easier to spot misspelled words or misused punctuation or grammar. When you finish the first paragraph, move on to the next one.
🔑 THERE THEIR THEY’RE || Using the correct tense of this word will save you so much time. Here are the basics: Use THERE to describe place (She kissed him over there, by the Eiffel Tower). Use THEIR to describe ownership (It was their first kiss, over there by the Eiffel Tower). Use the contraction THEY’RE to shorten the two independent words “they” and “are” to make one, shorter word. (It was their first kiss, over there by the Eiffel Tower, and now they’re engaged!) A contraction is less formal though, so it is best to use this only in conversational tone. You wouldn’t want to use contractions in a resume, for example, or in an email when you want to sound professional.
I hope you found this helpful. Do you struggle with certain aspects of editing? Let me know. Maybe I can come up with an easy trick ❤️