Edit your blog posts? Yes or no?
I have to confess. Yes, I edit and revise my blog posts, sometimes at length, before posting.
Actually, I edit most anything I write short of grocery lists.
The dominant attitude on the internet seems to be that editing and rewrites are unnecessary, even undesirable. Spontaneity is the order of the day.
Except for me.
I take each article and comment as a demonstration of my capabilities as a professional writer . . . for better or worse.
For articles and blog posts (which are essentially repurposing of the same thing) I prefer to write, set it aside for a day or at least a few hours, and then take it up again.
Blog comments and social media are much quicker. Writing and review in a single session. Often only a few minutes total are all that’s required.
Fastest of all is Twitter. Here the issue isn’t so much improvement but, instead, it’s brevity. Most all my tweets are originally far longer than 140 characters. However, I try to trim them much shorter than the maximum to accommodate retweets, sometimes even with additional notes added.
It is amazing to me how seldom my initial idea fits in the space allotted and yet how much can be cut out with a little ingenuity.
From adding steps to logic sequences all the way to remedying missing words or letters, the word count for my articles typically grows. But I also pull out unneeded filler and change long, passive constructions to snappy active verbs, which tend to shorten the final result.
I believe my communications generally improve with the editing. But I concede that I may lack off-the-cuffedness, at least in my mind.
The most interesting writing I’ve attempted in recent years is joke writing. Here it’s all about polishing up the writing so it packs a punch and makes a point. Comics practice and perfect, transforming a clever idea into laughs.
Originally posted 3-12-13