Want the real truth this morning? I totally forgot I’d promised to do 30 days of writing tips. I never intended to write them over the weekend, but I got caught up in another idea this morning.
Thanks goodness for readers. Shelly Hazard said this in comments:
Done writing? Now let it sit!
When you first complete a writing project, don’t rush to send it off. Now that it’s finished, let it sit for awhile. Wait an hour, a day, a week, however long it takes to get the finished piece off of your mind. Then take it out and read it again. With a little time and distance, you regain some of your objectivity and can find flaws or errors that you’d otherwise have missed.
Shelly’s right on of course. Usually it’s only on a daily newspaper that deadlines come so fast we don’t have a chance to let a piece rest for at least an hour or two. And as she implies, longer is better.
That rest gives your mind a chance to see errors and your ear to hear them if you read it out loud.
I love her suggestion that we let the writing rest “…however long it takes to get the finished piece off of your mind.” That’s a great description.
Have you got a tip? Post it in comments please.