I’m not just talking about spell check. Go read it forward, backwards, and sideways. Read it out loud like a monologue to your roommates. Does it sound good? Great. Now go make it better. Can’t? Let new eyes see it and listen to what they say.
Rinse and repeat.
It’s pretty rare that a line is the best it will ever be from the start. It does happen–maybe once in every three lunar calendars–but don’t count on it. This is something I realized in my first week as a content creation intern at ChatterBlast Media. A content calendar that you make may look completely different after it gets sentenced to edit row. But it’s for the best because your writing will become disruptive, sharper, and better.
Also, the best tool for editing is someone that isn’t you. You may think your line is great, funny, and the best thing since the cronut, but if someone else doesn’t get it, you might as well put it in your diary for a good read later. We will read what we thought we wrote in our head, and it may not actually make it to the paper. So for the love of Ernest Hemingway, buy your buddy a drink to look over your writing.
Next, make a practice of calling anything you write a draft. Art is never finished, only abandoned. That is what Leonardo da Vinci said, and I like to think he just wasn’t talking about The Mona Lisa. The tireless edits you put into your writing will make it that much easier and enjoyable for the reader. Once you become completely and utterly frustrated with the letters staring back at you with a glare of contempt, you have reached the point of abandonment: congrats. It’s probably not bad anyways.
Lastly, learn to recognize when to keep toiling away and learn when to put the pen down and celebrate with a mic drop.