One mistake many writers make is to write and edit at the same time. Trust me, at that pace, you’ll never finish! I once heard the quote (and I thoroughly agree with it): “A first draft is simply you telling yourself the story.” Meaning, the first time around, you’re just getting it down on paper.
Next step: edit ruthlessly. That’s right Kill your darlings. That means those lofty phrases you thought sounded so great when you first wrote them probably aren’t. Trust me again, being concise is a much higher priority than being eloquent!
When I’m editing, I keep a file for that project on my computer called “Holding Zone.” When I “edit ruthlessly,” I put what I’ve cut into the Holding Zone. That way, if I decide I want it back, or want to use it elsewhere, I can retrieve and reuse it. Tracking changes while editing will also accommodate this goal.
Eventually, you’ll get better at slashing your own work. And, you’ll likely find yourself noticing it in other writers’ writing if they don’t catch on to this important principle, too!
Arlyn Lawrence is a developmental editor and writer and the founder of Inspira Literary Solutions. When she’s not cutting words from manuscripts, she’s probably cutting dead-heads off the rosebushes in her garden. Same principle. 🙂
Capital: Refers to money or assets, a city that is the seat of government for a region, uppercase letters, or something significant or praiseworth (as in “a capital idea”)
Capitol: Refers to capitol buildings where legislators meet
Grammar hack to remember: referring to the physical building is the ONLY time you use “capitol” with an O!
Good spelling is not just intuitive or inborn. You can train yourself to spell well! Just remember simple grammar hacks like this and you’ll be head and shoulders above everyone else who’s still making the same old mistakes!
The Inspira team is excited to announce the launch of author Christopher Gilbert’s book, There’s No Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing (catchy title, right?), released in May of 2018. Seriously, as our team worked on this book we all had numerous little “aha” moments as we became more aware of the “little things” we and other people often do–or are at least tempted to do–in the course of a day. Even things like where we and how we parked that day in the office parking lot! (Oops.) It’s how we all conduct ourselves in the little things that can have big impact in our communities, cities, and world. That’s the message of this book.
Dr. Gilbert (aka Chris) has a Ph.D in Organization, Management, and Leadership Ethics, and teaches ethics at the University of Washington in Tacoma. He also has over thirty years experience in organizational development serving as a strategic facilitator and leadership and operations consultant.
Within the sphere of higher education, Dr. Gilbert has served as COO for Bainbridge Graduate Institute and global faculty at the University of Washington and educational institutions in the US, China, Switzerland, Iran and the Russian Republic. Whether providing a keynote speech or facilitating a workshop or team coaching session–or writing a book, for that matter!–Chris brings a unique blend of practical experience and accessible personal connection into all of his work.
There’s No Right Way To Do The Wrong Thing is an exploration in how we can all make better choices for a better world. It’s full of great insights and a lot of laughs as Chris tells humorous stories (sometimes about himself) about the ethical mis-steps we all navigate in life. It’s a great book, and we hope you’ll check it out!
Arlyn Lawrence is the founder and senior editor at Inspira. One of her favorite things about her job is the many things she learns while editing our authors’ books!