Preparing yourself to proof or edit your own writing

  • Write at the end of the day; edit first thing in the morning. (Usually, getting some sleep in between helps.)
  • Listen to music or chew gum. Proofing can be boring business and it doesn’t require much critical thinking, though it does require extreme focus and concentration. Anything that can relieve your mind of some of the pressure, while allowing you to still keep focused, is a benefit.
  • Don’t use fluorescent lighting when proofing. The flicker rate is actually slower than standard lighting. Your eyes can’t pick up inconsistencies as easily under fluorescent lighting.
  • Spend a half-hour a month reviewing grammar rules.
  • Read something else between edits. This helps clear your head of what you expect to read and allows you to read what really is on the page.

Make a list of things to watch fora kind of “to do” list as you edit.


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