Editing Tip #10: How to Stay Motivated When Editing

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Many authors talk about writer’s block or burnout when writing a novel, but have you ever experienced that with editing?

With challenges like NaNoWriMo becoming more popular, many authors will write their novels in 30-90 days. When writing a book quickly, it can be easier to push through without much writer’s block or burnout.

However, with several read-throughs and hours and hours of rewriting, the revision and editing process almost always takes many more months to work through.

So, how do you keep pushing through the editing stage when your brain just doesn’t want to think about plot holes or writing better description or finding an editor?

Tips for Staying Motivated When Editing

1. Have a revision and editing plan.

There are few things more frustrating with editing than not knowing where to start or what to edit next. Switching aimlessly between different types of edits is a surefire way to discourage yourself from continuing.

But there is an easy fix! Before you start editing (or pause if you’ve already started editing), brainstorm a list of everything you want to edit, and then rearrange that list into the order or want to tackle those edits (or download my free editing checklist here).

If you create and stick with a revision and editing plan, you will eliminate the frustrating question, “Now what do I edit?”

2. Take mental and physical breaks.

Writing and editing will take on tole on your mind and body, so it’s important to take breaks. Try not to sit at the computer for hours at a time to prevent potential blood clots or sore eyes. Get up every 30 minutes to one hour, walk around, drink some water, and then get back to it a few minutes later.

If you need a longer mental break, don’t be afraid to take a couple of days off. Sometimes, our minds need to focus on something different for a change, and coming back to your work with fresh eyes and mind could give you the engird you need to keep going.

3. Remind yourself that editing gets you one step closer to publishing your novel.

Sometimes, all it takes to get us through is a reminder of why we are editing in the first place. Rewriting and editing your novel is one of the steps you have to take toward publishing a novel your readers will love.

If you can remember (or create a reminder for yourself) that editing gets you one step closer to publishing your novel—to getting your book in the hands of readers—it’s a whole lot harder to quit.

Do you have any other tips for staying motivated while editing? Share with us in the comments below!

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