Writing & Editing: A Little Time Makes A Big Difference
Writing regular posts to this blog in the Post A Day Challenge has driven home a lesson that I learned in an OAC (Grade 13) Canadian History class a long time ago during the summer of 1998 at Earl Haig High School in North York, Toronto:
The more time you leave after you write something the better you will be able to edit it. Try to leave at least 24 hours after writing a paper before you go to review/edit it and then hand it in. If you can leave longer that is even better.
God, I wish I could remember the name of the teacher who taught us that.
That lesson has been one of the lessons that has really stuck with me over the years being the kind of person who almost always wrote his papers and essays at the last minute in school. My educational career’s essay writing experiences and attitude could be summed up in a quote from one of my high school friends:
The best minute is the last one.
I would tell you who it was but I don’t know if wants to be quoted on that and he is a twin so I don’t 100% remember which one of them said it – although I am somewhat sure I know which, but I digress.
Why has this been driven home now? Because as I write this blog more and more there are often times when I need to go back and add or change something from a previous post. There are also times when I want to re-read it solely as a journal of what I did that day. When I do this I often times find a bunch of mistakes that I made when I wrote the post originally be they grammatical or just in terms of awkward wording. Beforehand, when I used to be pretty much solely a blog reader and not so much a blog writer I would often chuckle to myself at the mistakes people made in writing their posts. Now I have a lot more respect for them because I see how difficult it is to write consistently well.
I also see the massive benefit of actually having an editor or even just a separate and fresh pair of eyes looking at your work. This is why I am also happy about the WordPress Request Feedback option – although I have yet to use it myself. The Request Feedback option allows you to send your post out to your friends via email and have them send their feedback to you. I would really like it if they let you publish it to a group of WordPress folks who could respond to you but I understand why they have done it the way they have.
Why haven’t I used it yet if I think it is such a great idea? Mainly because I am often writing things too late to wait for actual feedback to come in and I need to actually post my post for the day. But I fully intend to use it sometime soon and I recommend you do it too if you have access to it. Even if you don’t have access to that specific function from WordPress I highly recommend you always wait as much time as possible or get someone else to read your work if possible before turning it in or publishing it. It will make you look like a better writer when the world reads your work.