By: Briana Mae Morgan
Ah, the red pen—a staple of exemplary writing.
Fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and poets alike utilize red pens to edit their work. If you don’t use a red pen, you’re certainly familiar with the backspace key, comments feature, and the Track Changes option on your word processor.
Editing is a vital part of the writing process. You can’t have good writing without rewriting. As Patricia Fuller said, “Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.” It’s foolish.
Of course, there is such a thing as too much editing.
When basic revising crosses the line into over-analyzing every single word and piece of punctuation, you know you’re in trouble. Although revising is important, it needs to have a finite end. No piece of writing can be more than nearly perfect. If you go through the same piece over and over again without stopping, you’re sacrificing time and effort better given to new projects.
I am now and have always been a perfectionist. I’m rarely satisfied with my completed pieces. When editing my work, I have a hard time stopping myself. There’s always something that needs to be fixed—in my eyes, at least.
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