Did you catch the error? Look again. It’ s not always so easy to see misspelled words. In other words, editing is tough work. But it’s got to be done. It’s no wonder students resist it. How often have I tried to edit a student’s work only to have them sneer at me and refuse to make the changes? Or, a student might feign compliancy but then keep the original text. The bottom line is that writing is subjective on every level. If we can keep that in mind, as writing instructors, then we can find ways to preserve the emerging writer’s sense of identity as a writer. Handle with care should be the motto.
Nevertheless, most published authors and professional writers agree, that an objective party is the best way to ensure the piece is polished. But, on the other hand, editing can be overdone too. I know that each time I revisit a completed passage and make changes, I increase the risk that I will omit a period or comma or leave off a letter. As for the content, that’s a matter of reorganizing, slashing, rewording, clarifying etc. A job that I need to do myself.
I stumbled upon a blogger by the name of Jeff Goins; he is the author of the eBook, The Writer’s Manifesto. Check it out if you’re so inclined. At any rate, the blog was aptly titled Why Writers Can’t Edit Their Own Wrok. (I’ll tell you that I didn’t catch that, initially). He had excellent ideas that included the writer being biased and too subjective. The writer needs fresh eyes, someone that is not so attached to the work; In the comments section it was a mixed bag—accomplished authors felt comfortable enough editing their work, but others agreed with Jeff.