Should you edit as you write? It’s a question every freelance writer must ask, and there is no set answer. It truly is a personal preference — you just must do what works best for you.
All Writers Are Editors
You don’t have to be a perfect editor, but you can’t count on others to fix all of your mistakes and make your writing better — you need to do that yourself. You can edit when you write and you can edit after you write, or you can do a mix of both. Just make sure you do it.
I Edit As I Write
Could just be the way my brain works and the nature of my personal psychological make-up, but I edit big-time as I’m clicking the keys. I’ll stop in mid-sentence to use a better word, add a phrase, or tighten a phrase. I’ll stop to add something five paragraphs back. I’ll stop to shuffle paragraphs, or add something to my outline. I’ll even stop to fix a typo (actually, I almost always stop to fix a typo).
Why? I do it because I’m concerned I may not catch that mistake on a later read-through, or that I may not remember that better word or phrase or sentence.
It works for me.
And I Edit After I Write
I always give anything I write a second reading, even if it’s a quick e-mail or a blog comment. For my professional freelance writing and for my posts here and on my other blogs, I do one thorough reading, editing as necessary, followed by at least one more go-through, even if it’s a quick one.
Your Take: Do You Edit As You Write?
What about you? Do you edit as you write or do you go back and do it later, or do a mix like me?