An author wears many hats.
We aren't just the writers of our books, but we also edit and promote them as well. Among many more tasks that come with our writing journey. You may be wondering why we self-edit our work. Because all people hear is to let someone else edit since the author will miss even the smallest detail. Although that may be true, self-edits can also strengthen a book's readability before an editor reads and edits the manuscript.
Self-editing may be scary, but it is worth it. Take it from someone who is really bad at editing, I have learned so much about my writing style just by going back through and editing prior to my editor's edits.
"We can usually see other people's written mistakes without a problem, but it's a different story when we edit our own work. Self-editing is the process that every writer goes through after they complete a draft of their written work. It's when we check for things like grammar mistakes, continuity, spelling errors, typos, missing words, repetition, awkward sentences, passive voice, subject-verb agreement, clarity, misplaced modifiers, homonyms, and the list goes on and on."
Self-editing isn't a walk through the park.
Even though the task is very rewarding and refreshing at times, an author can still burn out from editing too much or too long. A big chunk of words can stress us out. So why do we still do it?
Simply because we love our stories. We are invested in our craft. Our books are our babies and we love them even in their messy stages.
Books are like infants to authors.
We create them over a period of time. Anywhere from months to years to decades. We nurture them by taking care of their words and meaning. We love them even when they give us headaches and make us want to give up. We show them off because we are proud of them. We continue to take care of them long after they are out in the world by telling others about them, sharing their stories, and praising them for milestones.
We may not carry our books in our stomaches for nine months. But, we do carry our books in our hearts for our entire lives. Our books are a part of us. Our book is our chance to showcase who we are, what we believe in, and why we write. Pur book is our chance to shine. Therefore, we want to make it the best it can possibly be when the first person reads it after we are done with our first draft. For most authors, that is where an editor follows behind them to edit their manuscript.
The beginning stages of a book start with messy pages and scrambled ideas. That is how the best books are made.
So, why self-editing?
We are the sole owners of our stories and the key to all the missing pieces. Without our insight, our editor may not know what to keep and what to cut while editing. Authors are the guide for their editors. While the editors are the guide for making our books shine even more. Authors and Editors work together to produce incredible books. Teamwork is the defining factor in what makes self-edits worth the struggle.
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.
- Enrique Jardiel Poncela
So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.