Have you ever looked back on an article or a post the day after you have hit the publish button and thought “arghh I wish I had not published that”.
It is something that most of us have experienced as writers at sometime or another. The problem is very common because we get emotionally invested in our writing (which is a good thing). We want to share our thoughts with people as soon as possible once we have expressed them in writing. The excitement or heat of the moment makes us hit that publish button when in fact what we should do is put the article on the back burner for at least a few hours.
The reflection and editing process is very important to the quality of the finished article. Reflection and editing should not be done during the creative process of writing as they are analytical skills. They need to be treated as distinct and separate phases of the process. Giving your subconscious mind a period of time to process what you have written, reflect upon it and make improvements to it will make an enormous difference to your writing.
Maximizing the quality of your work whilst balancing your schedule can be quite tricky. Your writing process for short articles or posts should go something like this:
First Draft – Written with no editing. Written at speed to get all your thoughts onto the page.
Edit – This can take place from a few hours to a few days later (some writers leave it for months) depending on your schedule.
Second Draft – Written based on your editing.
Edit – This should be the final edit when writing a short article or post. It may not even be required a qick once over is often enough.
Sometimes of course the problem is the other way around. If you are very anxious about your writing you may get into an endless editing loop. This can result in just as many issues. For this problem you really just have to take the leap of faith and limit yourself to the above process. If you leave adequate time between your first draft and editing it ready for the second you will find that everything is much smoother.
Quick tip: If you cannot stop yourself from publishing as soon as you get your writing on the page, write your first draft on paper. This will help to enforce the process until you get into a routine.
Give it a go, experiment with with different reflection periods until you are happy with the process and be sure to let me know how you get on!