How To Motivate Yourself To Edit Your Book

By on November 9, 2017

For many authors writing the book is a breeze compared to what comes after. It’s all well and good getting your story down, but when you’ve finished the final chapter the real hard work begins!

Editing your book can be a long and somewhat arduous process. Book editing takes real concentration, perseverance and skill. It can be daunting, exhausting and intimidating, and sometimes, dare we say it, pretty dull too!

The elation and excitement we feel when we’ve finally gotten our story down can quickly come to an end when we begin to edit our books. Those chapters that seemed to flow from your effortlessly now seem clunky and nonsensical, the characters that you felt so sure your audience would fall in love with now appear lifeless and dull. The world which you so painstakingly created suddenly just isn’t believable anymore.

These are just some of the problems writers face when editing their book, and the more we uncover, the harder it can be to stay motivated and want to carry on. It seems insane to give up now, and yet tempting to do so. While we want our books to be perfect before we publish them, we also feel disheartened and lacking the energy or inspiration to make them as good as we know they can be.

So what are the things we can do to help keep up motivated and determined to get through the often sluggish book editing process? Here are some tips to help you.

Work little and often.

It can be easy to become fatigued when editing our book if we try to do too much at once. Try just taking your book editing page by page or chapter by chapter. If you try to do as much as you can as quickly as possible, you won't do as thorough a job and will end up having to go back and redo half of it anyway!

Step away when necessary

Sometimes a little perspective is all you need. When you feel the editing process becoming too painful, give yourself a little break. Do something else for a few days before you come back to it, and you are likely to have renewed energy and enthusiasm for the project.

Alternate tasks

When it comes to book editing, there is lots to do. Try spending one session concentrating on spelling and grammar and the next on content and context. Doing this will help stop you from getting to bogged down in one thing or another and help keep editing as interesting as possible.

Set goals and deadlines

Setting goals and deadlines will help keep you on track and motivated. Without doing so, it will be much easier to put book editing on the backburner and procrastinate. The sooner you get on with it, the better!

Get feedback

Get feedback at various stages of the book editing process, preferably from individuals who you trust, to be honest, and critical but also encouraging and positive too!

Stay positive

Everyone has days where they think their writing is awful and want to give up on it. However, you need to silence that inner critic and keep persevering. No one ever wrote a perfect book at their first attempt so just keep at it, and you'll soon see your book start to shape up and turn into something to be proud of.

Know when it’s time to hire a professional

However good you are at editing, and however long you spend doing it, it's important to know when the eye of a professional is necessary. A professional book editor will be able to spot things you've missed, so it's always a good idea to hire one.

Let go of the idea of perfection

You'll probably never think your book is perfect, so it's a good idea to let go of the idea of perfection and simply aim for 'I've done my best,' instead!

These tips can help you tackle the book editing process with gusto, and see it through to the end. Do you have any top book editing tips? Share them with us here!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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