Next Thursday, March 10, I’ll be speaking to students in the Young Authors Program in the Mount Vernon School District. The director of the program has ask me to specifically talk about the importance of editing. Writers love to write but they usually dislike the hard work of editing what they have put on the page.
As I have been thinking about how to approach the topic of editing, comparing it to the hard work it takes to learn anything new, such as playing a sport, is something most students can relate to. When one wants to play soccer, you first must learn the rules and then dedicate yourself to practicing the maneuvers and strategies of the game. And listening to input from your coach and making changes accordingly.
Editing what we write is much the same. We must learn the rules for generating good writing including proper grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and the use of specific vocabulary to convey our meaning. Oh, and did I say “don’t take editing personally”? Anyone editing your work, you included, is helping the writer become a better writer.
Most everyone who writes would rather “get it right the first time” but unfortunately that isn’t how it works and that is true with most things we attempt in life. Dedication, practice, hard work and keeping our selves positive are the standards for excellence that make what we do the best it can be.
Whether we have written for many years or are new to writing, we all need to learn the art of editing as it is the companion that goes hand-in-hand with creating the most accurate reflection of what we are attempting to convey to our readers.
I very much look forward to sharing with these young authors next week. Now I will go back and edit this blog…..!