Everyone talks about the mystical, magical process of EDITING a blog post.
You know you have to do it (grrrrr). You know what it looks like for you (staring at your computer screen wondering if these words make any sense and what to have for dinner and that you really ought to book that appointment and that no one will read this anyway).
But what’s it supposed to look like?
How should you edit your writing? How do the pros do it? What does writing and editing a blog post look like?
Well, I thought I’d show you.
At least, I’ll show you how I—as someone who gets paid to write—do it. No fluff. No woo-woo general concept talking. An actual video of me writing and editing a blog post. This post, in fact.
The video below is a screenshot from my laptop. Unedited. No cuts. (Though sped up, as I’m sure you don’t want to sit there watching for as long as it took me to write.)
Here's what you'll see:
- The original idea I’d scribbled down in an ideas bank in Scrivener, the software I use for writing. (Look closely and you’ll also glimpse ideas for upcoming posts.)
- Many, many typos.
- Allllllllllll the words I deleted.
- The long pauses where I’m searching for the right words. (They tend to hide, you see.)
- The playlist I listened to as I wrote (including the embarrassing songs. Yes I like One Direction. And what?) I can’t write without music.
- That I always misspell embarrassing. It's embarrassing.
- My attempts to wrangle my writing into subheadings and bullet points, so it’s easier on the eye.
- My inability to come up with a good headline, and deciding to think on it for a day or so.
Here's what you won't see:
How you’re supposed to write and edit a blog post.
Because—I don’t care what everyone else says—THERE IS NO ONE BEST WAY. It is the unicorn of the writing world. It doesn’t exist.
Because we’re all individuals. And what works for me might not work for you.
I am so, so sick of reading Best Advice for Writers articles that tell me I’m an awful person for not getting up at 6am to write and will never achieve any of my writing goals because I like to snooze my alarm for four (okay, five) times every mid-morning when I get up.
So this isn’t advice. It sure as hell isn’t direction. It’s an example. It’s to show you that even “pro” writers’ writing is messy.
I will be sharing advice with you later. (I’ve got a killer post lined up after speaking with the likes of John Lee Dumas, Neil Patel and Marie Forleo!) But it’ll be lots of advice from lots of different people. Because the chances are, you’ll have to try lots of things to find what works for you. There is no one way.
In the meantime, here’s the unedited video.
[Note: It took me 45 minutes to write and edit 477 words. That’s pretty average for me but if you’re slower, remember, I write a lot. I also did another quick read through and edit before posting online. The video is at 5x speed. If you want to speed it up more, go to the bottom right corner, settings, and up the speed to 1.5x.]
So? What were your thoughts as you watched? I’d love to know. Tell me in the comments below.