What are your writing quirks?
As an editor, I’ve found that all writers — including me — have patterns of writing that I have to fix during editing. Over time, you learn some of your own quirks. But when you work on the same piece of writing day in day out, you get too close to your sentences to spot everything.
That’s when other writers who come to your work with a fresh perspective are invaluable.
I met with my writer’s group yesterday and feedback revealed overused and unnecessary words, repeated phrases or sentences left over from when I moved sections around, and passive writing that I missed when I read my manuscript for the umpteenth time.
At a certain point, it’s impossible to effectively edit our own work. Our brains glaze over.
If you start figuring out these patterns (with a little help from your friends), you’ll become a better writer. You’ll be more effective at self-editing because you’ll have a new level of awareness.
If you don’t have writer/editor friends who can help you edit your work, I encourage you to find a few. I’ve met writing mates at MeetUps, writing conferences, and through my job.
If you’re looking for people to collaborate with, here’s a previous blog post with more ideas for finding like-minded writers.