There have probably been many books you couldn’t put down, and that’s a good thing. Reading is always a good thing. But when it comes to your own book, it’s best if you put it down as often as you can.
Here’s what I mean: When you’re editing your own book, you need another set of eyes, because one pair just won’t do.
There’s an unwritten rule in editing that I call the “put it down” rule. When a writer has been working intently on a manuscript, s/he should put it down for a period of time so that it will be fresh when s/he comes back to it. It would be nice if that period of time was at least a month, but since NO writer I’ve ever met could possibly wait that long, it should be put down for at least a week.
Why? Because when you don’t put your manuscript down, your brain tricks you. Your brain knows what you were thinking when you wrote what you wrote. It knows how you meant to spell a word even though what you end up with looks like something straight out of a Greek dictionary. So when you are self-editing and you read your manuscript over and over without a break, you brain typically overlooks your mistakes because it remembers how you intended to spell the words.
Putting your manuscript down for as little as a week will give your brain time to refresh itself. When it does, it will quickly pick up on those pesky typos and any other problems you may have completely overlooked the first time.
And so, today’s lesson is…put it down!
Best wishes for a wordy day,