Cultivate an editing mindset

Do you often edit your posts after the fact? Don’t worry about it.

Many people associate “editor” with “fixes mistakes.”

And that’s true in part. Copy editors and proofreaders correct grammar and catch typos. They also confirm the accuracy of statements or graphics (called a fact check).

Substantive or developmental editors help the writer draw new connections and improve logic. They sharpen scenes, examples, and stories. Above all, these editors ask “what if?”

That “Edited” label on a social media post doesn’t mean the writer “got it wrong.”

Next time you see an edited post, consider the thought that went into hitting that “edit post” option. Maybe the writer was fixing a typo, or maybe they were…

  • acknowledging a colleague’s help
  • strengthening an idea
  • line editing their prose so it’s more concise
  • linking to a longer piece they wrote after, inspired by the short post
  • revising their opinion

When you embrace an editing mindset, you’ll be less hung up on perfectionism and getting it right the first time. You’ll be less inclined to procrastinate.

Editing is not all about fixing mistakes. It’s about helping people and being kind to yourself. Editing gives you another shot at expressing yourself in a clearer way. In these ways, writing and editing can be a deep act of self-care.

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