Wednesday Word: Editing in a Hurry? Disrupt Familiarity.

Today’s Wednesday Word is a quick hit.

Pressed for time, but need to edit a letter, talking points or a presentation?

First, slow down and be calm. You have more time than you think. Even say to yourself, Breathe and find your focus if you must.

Now you’re ready to take action. Print your work. Take it to another office, focus/quiet room or conference room. Then read aloud, starting from the end of the piece, and work to the beginning.

Yes. I absolutely thought I read the first line as "The quick brown" at first. Photo by volkspider

Familiarity can breed errors: I’ll admit it–I initially read the first line as “The quick brown.”
Photo by volkspider

Sometimes, familiarity can breed errors. After working on a piece for a while, our eyes may skip over what is actually written. We become so familiar with our stories and what we are attempting to express that we may miss glaring errors. “Disrupting” your flow of thoughts by changing your surroundings and reading your work “out of order” is an excellent way to weed out the mistakes in your work that you may miss otherwise.

Ideally, we should let our work products “sit” for a day so we can review it with fresh eyes, but sometimes we don’t have that luxury. Keep this tactic in your back pocket for those times.

Have I had to take my own advise advice over the years? Over the past few days? Yes, I have.

So the next time you have to edit in a hurry–pause. Find another space to do your editing. Then start to read from the end of your work to the beginning. You may be surprised by what you find.

And that’s your Wednesday Word.

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