Being Objective About Your Writing

One of the hardest things for writers is to be objective about their own work. It is easy to be all eager about the first draft and how you are writing. The project and plot is new, and you feel really pumped up and happy to finally be writing the story.

However, once you write it down, the real difficulties start. You have to revise your work, as if you are the editor. You have to try to examine your work so that you can see the benefits and drawbacks of your manuscript. You have to determine what works and what doesn't. But how can you have that kind of objectivity about our own work?

Here are a few tips to ensure that you are objective when evaluating your writing.

1. Make sure that you put your first draft aside for a few weeks so that you could get some distance between that initial draft and your next draft.

2. While you have set a manuscript aside, move onto another manuscript for a while. You may want to draft up a new story or you may want to revise another one. Make sure that you are always working on something that is interesting and moving you along as a writer.

3. Learn how to be your own critic. This is especially the case for the first few drafts of your manuscript. Once you master the elements of a picture book, make sure that your story follows these elements perfectly. Make sure your plot is strong, and that your story line moves along. I will talk more about the basics of creating a proper picture book story later on.

4. Find a way to pull yourself back from the intimacy of your own story and read the story as if you are an outsider. One way that I achieve this is to wear a set of funky reading glasses that are different from my regular ones. They are usually magnifiers and they make me focus on the different aspects of my prose and my story.

5. Try not to be emotionally committed to any of the words that you have written in your book. Instead, have a fluid relationship with the words and prose so that changing them won't be so painful for you.

Follow these tips to make sure that you will become more objective with your writing. That way, you'll be able to revise your manuscript before you send it off for critique or to an editor.

~ Irene

Irene S. Roth is a freelance writer for kids and teens. She also writes articles for writers on the writing process and how to publish articles and books. See her blog at: