How to Know WHEN to Edit Your Writing With These 3 Tips!

Have you ever finished writing something and all you can do is just sit there in horror at the thought of editing it?

Today I’m going to be sharing with you 3 tips on WHEN you should edit your writing!

**ALSO, a HUGE thank you to Issabelle from Teen Writers Nook for requesting this post! I hope this helps you!!**

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

1. Edit When You’re Done

Seems pretty basic, eh? But sometimes this is a tip that kills the perfectionists. They like to line edit, which is when you edit your story line by line. Pretty soon though, this can become slow and disheartening, so my advice to you is this:

  • If you’re so stuck on line-editing your book while you’re supposed to be writing it, you’re not going to get that first draft out of your head.

You HAVE to come to terms with yourself that your writing is going to SUCK during your first draft. 

And that’s okay.

Because you’re the only one who’s reading this. You don’t need to worry about anyone’s opinions of your book, or if it’s good enough…none of that!

Just WRITE your first draft. That’s the accomplishment you want.

2. At What Point Do I Edit it After?

The moment you put your period on the last sentence of your entire novel, I’m going to ask you to not start editing right then.

Sometimes writers will allow themselves five seconds of joy and then scramble to the top of their document andddd cue a flood of tears looking at the trash you wrote like a million months ago.


Yeahhhhhh, no. We’re not going there.

Instead, first, CELEBRATE that you finished your novel!! Don’t ever pass up a chance to PARTY by the way that was a very profound thing of me to say so you can quote it if it pleases you.

But, even amidst the relief and maybe a tiny bit of happy tears and maybe a whole LOT of cake…do not open that document.

Instead, pick up another piece of writing and start working on it! Maybe a book of poems, short stories you’ve always wanted to write, etc.

But do not open your novel.

Not yet.

  • In fact, I want you to wait a couple of weeks or a month until you begin to edit.
  • *Edit*: After writing this post I looked into this a bit more. Turns out, you should be waiting 3 months to a full year before you start. I know, that’s a bit extreme. But you can handle because of the next part:

In the meantime, write those other pieces of writing to keep your writer mind going. If you do nothing, you won’t be making smart choices when it’s time to edit. If you’re writing all the time, you’ll know when you look back on your novel what’s actually bad about your writing.

Do this so that when you get back to your novel to edit it, you will not be attached to your work.

When you’re so attached to your work, you’ll fall into the trap of line editing. If you’re not attached, you will be ready and raring to attack your document with the full-on merciless force that it requires!

3. When Should I Line Edit?

Line editing is honestly a trap. You can quickly line edit if the sentence makes NO SENSE and it’s killing you, so here’s how to avoid it!


Can’t seem to find that perfect word? It can be incredibly frustrating when you’re pounding out your story and all of a sudden…all English disappears on you. Ya groove is GONE man!


In this case, just quickly pound out ELEPHANT and sprint on.

Whenever you finish your writing sprint for the day, go into your document’s search bar and type in ‘ELEPHANT’. It will bring you to when you typed it out during your sprint and you can now spend as much time as you want finding that word. (My sister explains it in full detail in this post!)

2. Kick Spell-Check Out Da Window

Yup, that’s right! I want you to turn off your spell-check and kick it out the door.


^us celebrating as we throw it out

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s been in the ZONE and all of a sudden misspell like an entire sentence and BAM, just get kicked out of it? Red random squiggly lines popping up just throws my brain off.

So…why not try turning it off? With nothing begging your attention to immediately edit the words, you will forgo line editing! Plus, you’ll keep yourself in your writing zone!

3. Just Write!

Not much to say here except…write that first draft! Write, write write! You’ve GOT this! NOTHING WILL STOP YOU.


^your family when you’re in your groove.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

Honestly, the key here is to just save it, but be smart about it. Write your first draft! (That’s the most important thing). Then keep up your writing by writing other side things. And THEN, a few weeks of month(s) later…attack your novel with full force! 


Have you ever struggledwith editing?

Have you ever wondered WHEN you should begin editing?

If you’d like to request a post, head over here!

*Hey Issabelle, tell me if this answers some questions!! (Or did you know all this already? OOOooorrrr did I do this whole thing wrong? Always a good thing to know that hehe) 

Like these posts? Wanna have more? Subscribe to my email list to receive inside info and lots of fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!


Pin It!

How to Know WHEN to Edit Your Writing With These 3 Tips!

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/745486544566726821/

13 thoughts on “How to Know WHEN to Edit Your Writing With These 3 Tips!”

  1. Ugh, you are KILLING me over here. A MONTH away from my novel!? How dare you even suggest… LOL. You literally just exposed me in this post! I launched into editing a few days after I finished my first draft, and I can’t tell you how discouraged I got. I wanted to bury myself in the sand and never come out, because all I could think was, “HOW ARE ALL THESE SCENES SOOO BAD?!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *coughs awkwardly as I sidle away* okay looks like everyone’s gunna kill me for suggesting that now 😆
      Aw noooo! That’s awful! I can unfortunately relate. I tried to edit my book and ended up restarting the whole thing. It was insanity 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OOooh, SUPER AWESOME POST, GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As always, I LOVE reading through your posts and ALL THE GIFS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I especially can relate to the last one. 😆 Editing is SOOOO HARD for me!! If I had it my way, I’d chop out every single sentence in my story and then would stare at a blank document. XD I actually did know most of the tips but I have so much writing tips and advice swirling around in my brain that I can ALWAYS use an awesome reminder!!!!!!!!! Sooo it’s still SUPER HELPFUL!!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for this AWESOME post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <33

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANKS ISSABELLE! Yayyyy thanks! Ahahahah I must agree with that.
      Yeah, I honestly figured you would probably already know all of this 😅 That’s awesome though!!! I’m so glad!!! Thank you again Issabelle!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I know right? The first time I heard of leaving it I was like: nope. won’t work. But it actually does 😂
      YES! YOU CAN DO IT RAYNA!! *waves around cheering pom-poms*

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never thought about turning off my spell-checker while I’m writing; I just like having it on, because I tend to make the dumbest mistakes when I’m writing fast 😂 My thoughts on the story get ahead of the words in my head and then my fingers can’t keep up at all. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Mary! I can attest to needing a lot of time away from your novel before plunging into edits. It’s one of the reasons I fell out of love with my very first novel, I didn’t wait before editing it and rewriting it and rewriting it and rewriting it ad infinitum. XD I laugh now, but I almost started hating my story because it was such a mess. Though, I drafted a novelette and was able to immediately begin edits, so maybe with shorter work it’s not so bad? Or that might have been because I technically wrote three drafts while outlining and then expounding on the outline. (Also, HIII!!! I’m finally able to go through my backlog of emails. XD)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jen!!! Oh my goodness, that makes so much sense, and that’s awful you fell out of love with it 😣 Ooh, true! WOW, that’s epic!!
      (AHH, YES, HIII!!! So awesome to hear from you again!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s