Invariably, all writers must rewrite. As we all know, it’s a lot easier to see the flaws in someone else’s writing than in our own, so here are some strategies that can help.

The first step is to change your state. Have you ever heard the Einstein quote: “We cannot solve a problem at the same level at which it was created”? That applies to rewriting as well.

When you write, you are in a creative state. That’s different from the state you need to be in to critique your own work. In order to get into the critiquing state:

  •  Print out the material in a different typeface or on different color paper.
  •  Reread your writing in a different location. If you write at your desk, move to the living room or the kitchen or to a café to reread and evaluate your work.
  •  Use a different posture. Sitting back in a chair feels more connected to critiquing than sitting at a table.
  •  Pretend that what you are critiquing is not yours, but a colleagues work that he or she has asked you to critique

In the next post in this series, we’ll look at the actual critiquing process and how to make it as effective as possible.