Tip 4: It’s Easier To Edit Poor Text Than Create Content From Scratch
Building a House vs Refits & Repairs
Ever had to refit a bathroom in house? Or get a leaky roof repaired? We’ve had to do both in the last year. They can be big jobs and can get expensive. There’s lots of disruption, noise and mess. And builders drink an incredible amount of tea.
But in comparison to building a house, they are mere trifles. Building a house is a whole different scenario. Imagine — just putting in the foundations would probably take as long as refitting a bathroom.
Creating From Scratch vs Editing
It’s like that with creating content for your book. Editing existing content — even if it has to be substantially modified is waaaay easier than starting from a blank piece of paper. You have the structure and some of the content. It’s now about modifying that.
One of my favourite expressions is “You can’t edit fog.”
So ask yourself — would you prefer to edit content that already exists, or create content from scratch? Anyone who’s ever written a report, a blog post or even a long email will know the answer to this.
It’s many times easier — and faster — to edit existing content. And that’s true for content that’s badly written and even content that isn’t exactly what you wanted to say.
Why Is This True?
You’re using a different function of your brain when you edit from that used when you’re creating content. When you’re editing, you’re working towards a specific goal. You’re focusing on correcting the text that’s in front of you. That’s convergent thinking.
When you’re creating content, however, you’re using the creative part of your brain. The part that sees possibilities. The part that can translate your thoughts to text that scans and can be understood.
It may sound like this is a tiny distinction, but it’s huge.
Quote About Editing
“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”
So What Should You Do?
Obviously at some stage, you’ll need to create content from scratch. And the thing to do is to get from the content generation to the editing as quickly as possible. For many, this will mean getting your thoughts out in a word processor as quickly as possible.
This does work, especially if you apply my other tips to your content creation.
However, an excellent alternative is to get someone to interview you about a given chapter or two. Then transcribe the interview. I’ve helped authors create entire books with this method.
Contact me via the link below if you’d like to discover more.
Your Next Steps
I offer book coaching for aspiring authors, to help you get your book completed. If you’ve found this tip useful and you’d like to find out more about how I might help you, leave me a message here:
And if you’d like to know more about my interview method of creating content, mention it via the link.