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Importance of Editing In Written Communication

Editing is something that communicators should have the patience to do a number of times...

As a communicator, I believe that editing is one of the most important tasks that can influence the quality of any type of written communication. Editing is something that communicators should always have the patience to do a number of times to effectively relay the desired information to the target audience. 

When I think of editing, I remember a story that my Italian husband shared to me some years ago while visiting the Louvre Museum, in the city of Paris, to admire Mona Lisa, the famous masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. Mona Lisa is considered as the best known and the most visited work of art in the world. It is also considered by many observers as perfect in all its elements. Every element in da Vinci’s painting is so harmonious that it leaves no space for criticism. But in order to achieve that perfection, da Vinci (my husband told me) took all his life working on it.  All his life and wherever he went, he brought with him this piece of canvas where Mona Lisa is portrayed and he made continuous modifications, adjustments and improvements to achieve his vision of Mona Lisa, or the real woman he wanted to portray.

For me, editing is just like what the Italian artist did all his life with his masterpiece. Editing means being critical with our work, being unsatisfied with the work unless all the elements correspond perfectly.  As a copywriter, I edit a lot, and I don't know how many times. When it comes to written communication, I am the type who always feel that there is always something to be re-worded, to be checked, to be modified, to be adjusted, and I do not get tired of editing, because the more I edit (I think) the more my written content will be more effective and persuading to the target audience.

My strategy is to craft my prose, writing everything that comes in my mind, re-write if possible the 
same day, then do the editing only the day after, and continuously edit it until I have the time.  
Doing one task at a time makes me write faster and edit effectively. This way, I have the time to organize and process my ideas, to structure my thoughts, which allows me to have a wider perspective of what I am writing about. In whatever type of written communication, this strategy facilitates me to have the big picture, necessary to be able to accurately edit my work later. 

Does it function? For me it functions. But in order for this to function, I should be given an ample time to do this. This means that procrastination is not part of me or my way of doing things. To be honest, I hate procrastination because it makes my work sloppy and dull. This also means that when I am not given the time to work the way I am used to, I tend not to give my best. And it makes my work harder to undertake.

As a conclusion, for me patience and passion are needed to achieve perfection in any kind of written communication.  Editing is one of the most crucial tasks to undertake in order to achieve an effective written output. But, for me, I can only do one thing at a time. Either I write or I edit. So, I do the writing first, then, possibly, edit the day after, so I will have an ample time to organize, process and structure my ideas to get the big picture. It works when I have sufficient time to do my way, but when I don't have that time, my work is likely to be negatively affected.



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