How to Edit Your Blog Posts like a Boss

Write. Edit. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Write…

Does this sound familiar?

I bet it does…

Truth be told, I used to say that one knows a piece of writing is properly edited when he feels sick just thinking about having to read it one more time.

And it’s easy to drive yourself crazy trying to edit like that.

So… what do you have to do instead?

Competency is your brain’s ultimate goal

Competency happens after you’ve made enough mistakes that your brain can let it all go.

That’s right. It’s not about what you do right — it’s about what goes wrong. The brain has to make hundreds, thousands of mistakes — and overcome them — to reach competency.

You can see this for yourself if you watch a two-year-old learning to walk. Get the child to walk on grass, and then on gravel. He’ll struggle, and he may fall.

Get the child to say a sentence, and he’ll struggle to find the right words in the right order.

The child has yet to make enough mistakes. That is all.

Once the brain makes enough mistakes — and corrects them — has reached its level of competency in that field, be it walking, talking, or writing.

What it means to be “fluent”

It seems magical. It’s what others call “talent” or “genius.”

Actually, it’s reaching such a high level of competency that you are fluent in whatever you’re doing. You are finding and correcting mistakes in your subconscious, and it barely needs a conscious decision on your behalf.

Think of it as learning to drive a car. When that happens, it’s gruesome to be listening to music, or to be talking on the phone. You need to focus on the task (driving the car) but as you reach competency and become “fluent” at driving a car, you can do it while doing something else.

This is how you edit like a boss

I could have written the shortest blog post ever, but you would have thought I was just messing with you.

Yes, it’s really simple.

Make hundreds and hundreds, maybe even thousands, of mistakes. Write, edit, write, edit, write, write, write, punch those damn keys, and edit some more…

The idea is that you learn. Everything you are, everything you do is learned behavior. From your passions to your fears and phobias, all is learned behavior.

If you’re struggling now, take comfort in knowing that there will be a day when you won’t struggle. As long as you make enough mistakes to become fluent at it.

That is greatness in less than 500 words.

And, believe me, I used to struggle to write. In English. Which is not my native language. I once spent 9 hours trying to come up with a clever sentence for one of my novels.

I used to spend 8-9 hours writing and editing a single blog post.

Now I can do it in about an hour.

I can write blog posts in buses, at parties, in coffee shops, on a laptop, on my phone, on a piece of paper with a pencil if needs be.

Today’s lesson:

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO FAIL. YOU CANNOT SUCCEED UNLESS YOU FAIL.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “How to Edit Your Blog Posts like a Boss

  1. This is fantastic advice and very inspiring to know.
    I spend a lot of time editing my blog posts as well as for my work; and believe me, I am sick of it after 2-3 times. And even after spending days (yes, days) on it, people find mistakes. I have learnt to accept it and hope that someday, I will become “fluent” enough to not make them anymore!
    Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This article, like all your articles, is power-packed with quality advice.

    I prioritise editing over writing in my workflow because I know just how important the editing process is. I’m not perfect when it comes to editing blog posts, but when I read my old blog posts — the ones I wrote two years ago, I know I’ve improved so much over time. Especially when I remember that, like you, English also isn’t my native language.

    And it’s all because I learnt to accept that making mistakes (AND learning from them) is all part of the process. Still, as “great” of an editor as I like to think I am now, I know there’s much room for improvement. And improve, I shall.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate editing, Christian. Know how to make a writer love it? Lol I edit so much: in my mind, on paper (the best way! Less punching of those damn keys), and then after typing. I never catch ’em all (grammar mistakes, word choice, etc.)!

    What’s your native language? If I may be so bold as to ask? You know I’m all about the bilingual (or multi-) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you force yourself to love it. You tell yourself it’s important. It’s not enough to get stuff done, but also to do your best, and you cannot do your best unless you edit your writing.

      As for my native language, it’s Romanian. I also speak a bit of Italian, a bit of French, and a bit of German. Emphasis on “a bit”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still forcing, then. Lol. I think it’s so important that it can ruin your whole piece, no matter how great your thoughts are.

        I can only read un peau de francais. Could never speak it because the accent is too difficult for me. Picked up Spanish and never went back.

        Thanks for your tips Christian. I need these reminders.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.