By Nicholas Klacsanzky
Though I am a professional editor, I think my editing process can work for you as well. I go through three labels that I apply to documents when editing: work, check, edited.
I work on a piece of writing until I cannot change a single thing. If I can still change something in the writing, I label the composition as (work). If I can’t find something to make different in a piece of writing, I label it as (check). Once the (check) label is applied, I keep working on the text, making changes if needed, until I can’t find something to shift once again: this results in the label (edited) being added to a composition.
This method ensures that a piece of writing is thoroughly edited and that you can have faith in what you have completed. But still, after going through this procedure, I have someone knowledgeable look over my work. This is an essential element of the editing process, because we ourselves can only see so far in terms of mistakes.
I would also recommend giving yourself a day break between each editing session. So if you worked on a poem, for example, and you found two commas to delete by the end of reading through your work, then return to the composition the next day. If you go to the text again right after editing it, you will not get the best results.
Also, when applying the (edited) label to a piece of writing, give yourself a break of a few days at least. Coming back to an edited text after a break can bring even more improvements to it.
This method is thorough and can be a bit frustrating, frankly. But if you want professional, publishable content, this process gives you the confidence to submit your work to magazines, journals, and to even publish books of your own.