5 Lessons I learned from 15 years of work:
Making a scene:
“You can fix anything but a blank page.”
While you write:
2 – Keep a Thesaurus open in the next tab.
Use it any time you get stuck, play around with words, read all the suggestions.
“The first eight drafts are terrible”
3 – ALWAYS BE EDITING: on a pieces of paper draw 10 tally marks to represent editing rounds like so –
and make sure you cross each, during your text editing process.
If you get bored during copyediting, play with free online editing tools, one after the other (Hemingway, Grammarly, Slick Write, Polishmywriting, and more). The algorithms are your co-workers: they will offer some editing that takes out the awkwardness, the passive voices, the overuse of adverbs, etc.
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
Ernest Hemingway, The Wild Years
Before you PUBLISH / SEND:
4 – Set document View at 150%, or better yet –
print it out and go over the page in another room.
5 – You too probably do your best proofreading after you hit SEND.
Enable Undo Send in your Gmail / Outlook.
Sometimes drafts are so bad, one needs to delete the entire page – like Proust did all the time in his notebook (=this means entire books written by hand, and a lot of time, Proust had lost). Above is a page from his notebook. One of hundreds.