3 editing tricks that take you from analysis paralysis to purposeful action

JP Michel
Last week I received my first book draft back from the editor. Best selling author Tucker Max calls this the “hurt your feelings” edit. 

Despite the scary name, the team at Lioncrest Publishing have built a unique formula to editing that softens the blow. 

Most importantly, it focuses the editing on what’s most important. 

Whether you are writing a book, blog post or tweet, here are 3 editing tricks that anyone can use to go from analysis paralysis to purposeful action. 

1) Start with the positive.

The first thing my editor asked me to read was her praise and encouragement.

Facing a mountain of comments and edits, the encouragement she shared started the process on a (much-needed) positive note.

Here’s some of the ‘love’ she shared: “I especially love the human element of this book. When you incorporate stories from students or educators, those characters you’ve built have flesh. Their experiences are poignant and relatable, and I am sure they will stick with readers long after they’ve closed the book.”

2) Focus on the bigger picture

Next, I was told to use a feature in Google Doc that I never heard about before: “preview approve all.” 

What this did was remove all the “red ink”. By hiding the edits and comments, I was able to see the manuscript in its new form. I then read the entire thing, which took 7 hours.

It was time well spent. 

I learned that even with these edits, the book still sounds like me. This helped me trust that the editor's recommendations would improve my work. 

3) Prioritize what to fix

Next, I read all the comments on the text.

This is different from my first reflex, which would have been to start the line by line edits. 

(The difference? About 30 comments vs hundreds of edits.) 

This focused me on the bigger picture and the problems I needed to solve in my book.

The key learning: Focus on the big picture first. 

It’s only after these three steps that I started the detailed, line by line editing process. 

Without these 3 editing tricks, I would have agonized over every small detail. And it would have taken me much longer at each step. 

Are you in the process of writing ? Try out these 3 editing tricks when it’s time to review your work. 

What’s next for my book? I will be reaching out to Beta readers shortly. After their review, I hope to submit the final manuscript before Christmas. After that, we will be working on the book cover and establishing a target publication date.

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