Self-Editing Your Writing

Written by Mary Anne Hahn

Continued from page 1

Yet, even with these changes, my piece remained too lengthy. Did I really want to slice it down further, atrepparttar risk of losing my reason for writing it? What, precisely, *was* my reason for writing it?

That's when I had an "ah ha" moment. I reviewedrepparttar 129528 essay again, and I began to find entire paragraphs that, although nicely written (in my humble opinion!), did not *directly* contribute torepparttar 129529 main point. Although these paragraphs provided additional background and perhaps a dash or two of color, couldrepparttar 129530 essay survive without them? The answer was undeniably "yes."

So, with nary a whimper, I wielded my pen/scalpel on those paragraphs, which broughtrepparttar 129531 piece underrepparttar 129532 word limit. This enabled me to submit it guiltlessly, knowing I'd managed to walk that line between respectingrepparttar 129533 editor's guidelines and maintainingrepparttar 129534 integrity of what I wanted to communicate.

Okay, I'll admit that I *did* saverepparttar 129535 original version as well. Perhaps I'll submitrepparttar 129536 longer, more lush essay to another publication someday. But I'm pleased withrepparttar 129537 edited one as well. And yes,repparttar 129538 essay ran. (

So what did I learn from this exercise that I want to share with you?

1. First, go ahead and just write what you want to write.

2. Then leave it alone for a while. At least a day or so, maybe longer.

3. When you reread it forrepparttar 129539 first time, eliminaterepparttar 129540 obvious flaws. Cut out unnecessary phrases. Rework long, rambling sentences into shorter, sharp ones.

4. Ask yourself why you are truly writingrepparttar 129541 piece, and whether every paragraph contributes to your reason(s) for writing it. Delete those that don't makerepparttar 129542 grade. To assist you through this most difficult step, focus onrepparttar 129543 fact that you want to get your work published. This enables you to let go of any sentences that stand in repparttar 129544 way of you and your goal.

Finally, to help easerepparttar 129545 pain of self-surgery, save your original work under one document name, and your edited result under another. You may be able to use those discarded paragraphs in another piece downrepparttar 129546 road.

Mary Anne Hahn has written numerous articles on writing, the writing life, business and career topics. She is also editor and publisher of WriteSuccess, the free biweekly ezine of ideas, information and inspiration for people who want to pursue SUCCESSFUL writing careers. Ti subscribe, .


Written by Arleen M. Kaptur

Continued from page 1

Writers are always wishing on a far away star, or hanging their dream on a publisher’s needs. They try and capture that illusive theme while trying to juggle family and personal needs. May times money stands inrepparttar way, yet that too can be turned into a novel. We foundrepparttar 129525 pot of gold in our talent, but we don’t quite know how best to use each coin. Gremlins taunt us into quitting or slowing down and yet heavenly inspiration hands us more paper and pens. We are understood by our fellow writers but we confuse those closest to us. Some people regard writing as a career while financial institutions raise an eyebrow. We can see visions of our future but today’s chapter takes all our energy.

So, why should anyone follow their dream to write? Why wouldn’t you? Only writers can turn ink on paper into a loving character with problems and solutions. We can create a better world ifrepparttar 129526 one we have doesn’t fit our needs. There is no limit to our possibilities, but only to our degree of perseverance. We can climb mountains but its those darn daily foothills of time restraints. Writers swimrepparttar 129527 oceans ofrepparttar 129528 world, but we find trouble paddling our way through puddles of commitments and interruptions. We haverepparttar 129529 corral, but find it hard to get all our horses together and functioning. The world is our playground, but we cry when someone misunderstands our sand castles.

The only way out of this dilemma of being a writer is simply to write. Follow what is given to you as a gift, and acceptrepparttar 129530 responsibility andrepparttar 129531 opportunities. The world is your oyster, and somedayrepparttar 129532 pearls will form a beautiful necklace of published words and name recognition. Its your world, and you arerepparttar 129533 only one atrepparttar 129534 wheel. Take it where you want it to go and have an acceptance speech ready for that Nobel Peace Prize. Someday is just around tomorrow and today is one step behindrepparttar 129535 future. ENJOY! ©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June

Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, cookbooks, motivational booklets, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES Websites:

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