Reviewing your own writing from an editor’s perspective can be a challenge even for experienced writers. When you write, it’s easy to get caught up in the story, but it feels amazing when you actually start to make progress.
But what happens when your work is complete? How do you take a step back, break away from a writer’s point-of-view, and freshly evaluate your writing?
Here are 5 ways to read, edit, and review your own work with ease:
1. Read it out loud.
Reading my work out loud makes me see things in new ways. Or, on the flip side, having someone read it to me can be equally revealing. You never know what words or phrases your friend may choose to emphasize or how they will recite your work. It can allow you to see parts of your writing you had never noticed before.
2. Use a different font.
Fonts differ for a reason, but they are uber helpful when reviewing your own work. Times New Romans compared to Arial give you a different focus when spread across a page or a screen. Whatever font you draft your work in, use a completely different one for editing. This contrast allows you to see things differently. When it comes time to review your own work, see if cycling through various fonts can give you a clearer perspective on what you’re trying to write.
I personally love printing out a copy of what I’m writing and editing it with a red pen. For me, it creates a completely different experience than when I’m reading it on screen.
3. Switch to a different activity.
No matter what I’m working on, sometimes, hitting a block happens. But stepping away for a little bit and focusing on something else for a while usually provides me with the clear mind and fresh eyes I need to continue.
That “something else” can be variety of activities—working on a completely separate piece of writing, doing laundry, watching Netflix, or even running an errand. In your own creative and editorial process, experiment and see what type of activities give you the head space you need to return to your work refreshed.
4. Read something unrelated.
If I start to feel like I’m over a project, I usually read my ‘Book of the Week’ or catch up on the tea on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Reading something unrelated to what I’m working on allows my subconscious to work in the background, so when I return, I’m able to continue with a much clearer picture in mind.
5. Listen to music.
There’s nothing like a little Trap, Contemporary, or the Oldies to break you out of a writing funk especially if that music contains rhythms and language that are notably different than the text you’re crafting. By engaging your brain in a different way, music can help you reset and see your work with a beginner’s mind again.
How do you approach reviewing your own work with fresh eyes?
Tell us in the comments below.