Why Editing is Like Washing A Cat

Hello Everyone,

I hope you have had a productive week and got some words down on paper (or screen). If not, no worries, just chalk everything you experienced last week up to “research” (that includes that night you ate ice cream for dinner and chased it with wine).

My job as an editor, as your editor is to help you bring about your best writing. Part of being a good writer is being your manuscript ‘s first editor. Yes, you should do some light editing before you put your manuscript in someone else’s hands. A light edit ensures that the book is intact and that the biggest details are correct.

How do you do this? Well, it’s a lot like washing a cat. Once in a while, your fur baby will get into something nasty or messy, and you will have to risk life and limb to help them clean up. To get your cat washed with the least trauma to you requires strategy, just like editing your manuscript does. The steps are simple but, it’s not easy. My next few blogs will give you tips on how to complete a light edit in the least painful way possible. Of course, after implementing these tips, you will still need to hire an editor for your book; however, you can save a little bit of time and possibly money by doing some simple things yourself first.

Tip #1 Read Your Manuscript Aloud!

Reading your manuscript aloud is the best way catch some obvious mistakes. You’ve spent so much time with your book that your mind has become accustomed to reading what should be written instead of what is actually on the page. If your brain expects to see the word “what,” then it will quietly transform similar words, such as “watt” or “why,” to match those expectations.

Reading out loud makes your brain stop and pay closer attention. You will catch yourself on poorly worded sentences and pause at misspelled words. If a section of your manuscript is hard to read or you find yourself reading it twice, then you know you’ve found a piece of writing you could improve.

Stay tuned for next week’s tip. Happy Writing!

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