Edit Your Work and Don’t Forget To Edit Your Life

We as writers talk about editing a lot because it’s part of our profession.

But editing is something we also do in our everyday lives. We make plans that may have to change, so we edit and reschedule.

When we speak, we should think before we verbalize a typo, which can be corrected by apologizing and changing to the correct word.

We edit our lives when we delete things or people from our lives. We proofread important documents before signing them (or we should) to ensure we agree with what’ we’re signing.

A writer would never just throw a first draft into the world. A writer’s work needs a timeout, a timeframe to marinate in itself while the writer distances herself for awhile, so she can come back with fresh eyes and perspective on her work to edit and revise before it’s ready for the professional editor. It’s a process like life. We must edit our work like we must remember to make the edits in our life in the same fashion.

Like cleaning out our homes, every once in awhile it’s healthy to take a pause and take stock of what we have around us, in our homes, sometimes even with the people in our lives.

Decluttering is editing – eliminating. Perhaps a bad habit would be a good editing project to work on? Bad attitude? No problem, you can edit that too – if you want to.

Is there someone in your life who brings a black cloud around whenever in your orbit? Maybe it’s time to take a look at what serves your best interest. Does this person make you uncomfortable or shed negative vibes when in your presence? It may be time to assess and perhaps edit them out of your orbit.

Sometimes we get too comfortable with our life, habits and circles, and become a little complacent forgeting we’re in charge of our own life, and forgeting we have the power to edit.

If we aren’t satisfied with the story we’re living, we are the editors of our own lives. It’s up to us to proofread the story we live in and decide the changes we need to make to have our story reflect the life we want it to be by editing out the unnecessary words and characters that hold back our story to allow it to flow better and read the way we desire, to permit a happy ending.


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52 thoughts on “Edit Your Work and Don’t Forget To Edit Your Life

  1. Great analogy, Debby! I’m smiling just thinking about the conversation.

    Bob: Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a while.

    Ted: That’s because I deleted you out of my life.

    Bob: But, why?

    Ted: Simple—you were uneditable. 😎


  2. A timely reminder Debby… no time like the present whilst we are in lockdown and realise the things, events and previous pastimes that we don’t actually miss.. It is also a time of separation and an opportuntiy to take a look at our relationships and do a little editing…Great post.. will share later…hugsx♥


  3. Very pithy, my friend. The founder of the Buddhism I practice said this in a letter to a follower: “Misfortune comes from one’s mouth and ruins one, but fortune comes from one’s heart and makes one worthy of respect.” So, yes, important to “edit” what one says. :}


  4. Edit your work and edit your life. That’s a complete sentence every writer should obey.

    This week I’ve unsubscribed from several email senders that annoy me and fill up my inbox. I’m contemplating about unsubscribing from an unresponsive blogger too. Not you, Debby. Not ever!

    Simplify, simplify! My motto now too.


    1. LOL, I’m laughing, because when I first read your cleaning out your inbox, I wanted to say ‘But you are here’. 🙂 But seriously, I hear you. But guess what? Talk about manipulation – WordPress DOES NOT let me unsubscribe! I have about 30 emails almost DAILY for the last 4 years that I don’t visit, and haven’t for years, and when I unsubscribe, it then takes me to the Reader page to unsubscribe there – ONLY, the blogs I want to delete aren’t even listed on the list of blogs I follow, yet I get notifications from every danged blog post from those blogs for the last 4 years. I have to spend time deleting them daily before I even get to the other 100. So good for you! ❤


  5. I completely agree: we are in charge of the editing in our lives. I’ve been decluttering for a few years now that the kids are grown and don’t want their stuff. It’s liberating and freeing. I’ve deleted complete sentences, I mean people, from my life, not just a few limbs. Lol. I’ve no time for negativity and bad attitudes.


    1. I hear you Di, I’ve done and doing same. And it is a process, but it’s liberating. As far as decluttering my slash – office/livingroom, I’ve promised myself to get this next book out and then my focus is parting with things and clothes that are not serving me and knick knacks collecting dust are going on Ebay. That’s my promise to myself. 🙂


  6. I love this, Debby – and editing your life is such a fantastically brilliant concept! Maybe that might be great book idea for you? I think most of us could do with some editing – I know I could. Toni x


  7. Hi Debby – such an appropriate post … and I loved Pete’s comments, John’s thoughts and the others … so spot on – we just need to think before we react. A fun read – but a serious one to apply to our lives … take care – Hilary


  8. Wise advice, my unicorn buddy, Thank you. ❤ A pause button to check in on loving energy; edit writing, speech, thoughts, choices, actions, home spaces and yes, people. I love you. ❤ ❤ ❤


  9. I have been doing this since we moved here and am now doing it again as I don’t want negative energy around me and it has a habit of creeping up on you doesn’t it…good post-Debs with great advice 🙂 xx


  10. I agree with what’s been said in both your post and in some of the comments, Debby.

    As Marian said, I’ve been unsubscribing from newsletters because I don’t read them. I don’t even know why I signed up for some of them. Probably just out of politeness. I also came across a recent poll which asked ‘Do you read the newsletters you subscribe too?’ Only 22% of those who answered the poll said that they did, with most of those saying they only read a few.

    But, just as I do with unsubscribing from the blogs that no longer interest me, I’m unsubscribing from them and freeing up much more time. And don’t even get me started on those awful pop-ups that ask you to subscribe to a newsletter every time I visit a blog – Argh! I loath them. Just as I put items in a charity bag that I’ve not used for one year, decluttering ones life is an excellent way of making you feel better.


    1. Thanks for adding to the conversation Hugh. Yes, and somehow, newsletters are much easier to unsubscribe from than a WordPress blog. And those popups – don’t get me started. The best of them are the ones that pop up large in your face when you first land there, without even getting to read something to decide if I’d like to subscribe. Internet marketing is out of control. 😦


  11. A great metaphor, Debby. I can definitely relate! I think it applies to putting some extra attention into “scenes and characters” that we enjoy too… to make our settings and relationships even better. Lol. A fun (and true) post. ❤


  12. Your post is so clever. I wasn’t sure how I edited and proofread in my life, but you have shown me the many ways. I will add one thing. Many times I find that my first draft is the BEST draft. I write it without thinking too much, and without expectations or worry about it “not being good enough.” Some of our best friends have been with us for many years and through so much: they were chosen early on – as a FIRST draft that stayed because it was (they were) the best draft. 😉 (Well, maybe a stretch, but it works, right?)


    1. I love your analogy Pam. The first choices are often the best. Yes, first draft feels so natural for us the writer, we edit and tighten it up to present to the world. ❤


  13. YES, I couldn’t agree more. I love edditing my writing and same goes for my wardrobe. People? Yes, them too. Love Pete’s comment! 🙂 I have a bag of clothes and shoes by the door now ready to donate. Shall do same with some people in my life LOL.


  14. Love the analogy! Such truth in your words 😀
    As you know, I did a deep structural edit on my life last year, now I’m down to final tweaks – I wonder when I’ll be ready to publish myself?


  15. I can so relate to this post, Debby! I love the topic. I LOVE editing. It’s making everything better – on paper and in real life.

    I have this inexplicable enjoyment of and urge for “getting rid of things.” In the fridge by eating it, in my articles/book by deleting, in our tiny home on wheels by storing items where they belong, by decluttering in general, by reading books partly so I can get rid of them (I know this doesn’t sound nice, but there is only this much room in a van), by replying to emails so I can file them, by “ignoring” people who upset me, and so on.

    But… I also enjoy the new slate: a full fridge again, a blank page to start a new story, an idea for a new article/book, making new friends. And so, the cycle starts over again. 🙂 It’s all part of how we shape our lives and books. And, the best part: it’s all up to us!


  16. An excellent post, Debbie! The phrase “take a pause” has surfaced for me this week. I should pay attention. I agree wholeheartedly how we are the editors of our own lives. I am all for the happy ending. xx Erica


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