Do you over-edit your writing?

If it’s hard for you to stop editing your final drafts, look for these signs that it’s OK to put down the red pen.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

That’s why sometimes, in the quest for the perfect way to say something, a writer can get hung up on last-minute changes and revisions, ever in search of an elusive sense of completion, and not let go of a piece.

How do you know when your careful editing becomes too much?

Take a look at the top three telltale signs it’s time to overcome perfectionism, release your writing, and move on:

1. You’ve already edited—thoroughly.

A top sign your piece is ready to publish is when you’ve already edited it well. How can you be sure you edited sufficiently? Run down this checklist of important editing tasks:

Correct grammar and spelling errors.

Not to set the bar too high, but “good writing is error-free,” says Anna Goldsmith of Copyblogger. “This means perfect spelling and no typos.”

Writing clean content isn’t as impossible as it sounds. Run spell-check, and then read through your writing a few times. Look for commonly misused words that sound alike, such as to, two and too; your and you’re; their, they’re and there, etc.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.