What Authors Gain When We Edit After Gaining Some Distance From Our Work

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1123441__erasure_As an author, I’ve never liked letting something I wrote just sit there before I edit. Still, I try to let something sit for at least a week or two. Stephen King recommends two months.

Why? Why is distancing ourselves important? I think I touched on this topic a couple of years ago, but I’ve got to thinking this morning about how both my fiction and my nonfiction have benefitted from distance.

What exactly does distance do for us?

  1. We’re less emotionally attached, less invested. This is the really obvious reason to distance ourselves from a work before an edit. It’s hard to change something that’s so close to our hearts, even when we know change is for the better. And the more changes we can make for the better before letting other eyes see our work–the more solid the work as a whole is–the deeper the feedback from beta…

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