A love letter to editing – the art of releasing razor-sharp, uncluttered words into the wild

LEARNINGS FOR BETTER TEXTS✍️ | They unjumble ideas. Establish the truth, of characters and points mentioned. Remove clutter from the scene. Reinforce key messages. Fix mindless repetition, while holding the needed details close. Along with the vision, and rationale. They don’t get too involved – tightening, while letting the colour gleam through.

They choose a clear angle 🖼️ to hang the narrative on. Is it consumer-health in Europe? Then there go European consumers leading the opening sentence. And they – the subject of this piece – know that the subject changes everything. To create structure, prioritise info and avoid rambling. They know a thing about organising #narratives – which are defined by direction, sense of focus & movement.

They make points sit with each other, in a way that improves the flow. Rearranging, stitching together 🪡, knowing how to introduce new issues or effects smoothly into the text. + Anecdotes, or conflicts. They add missing perspectives, asking themselves which info would enrich the text (where are the bad guys ah?). Clarify terms used, and baselines. What is average anyways? From “WHO standards” to 👉 “WHO guidelines for healthy sugar consumption”, that’s clarity.

They know what constitutes the breaking news, and what’s just context. That XX met YY mostly isn’t the news, unless you’re reporting on, say, Palestine-Israel 😔 They tidy up – removing everything that could yank the reader out of the experience 🤯 and force them to think more than necessary. Like Pointless Capitalization; names that could be descriptions.

They know of the power of 📍subtitles for focusing people’s minds on what comes next in the text. And of paragraphs for adding a layer of style to writing, maximising comprehension & elegance. Scrapping the “indicates blabla” in favour of “will help people to know instantly” ✅. They know how to give a sense of completeness to narratives, to come back to where it all started. Beginning to end.

They cut, and add, and remould. The goal: razor-sharp focus.

They work on content, structure, style & presentation. 

Reducing the blur, turning up the sharpness – step by step.


Please remember that editing is more than “killing your darlings” and cleaning up your punctuation.

It’s a process, and an art.
Hire a great editor, or become one.

📝 Here’s some proof that I finished a great course on editing #mastery by Shani Raja – thank you for putting uncluttered words to all that makes the difference & walking us through the layers of perfection with practical exercises: https://lnkd.in/dKdbnhE3 A lot of the ideas above are adapted from it. + I can’t recommend his writing course 💡 enough to everyone on and off the writer ‘spectrum’ – start there!

📸 by Jodie Cook on Unsplash (PS: big love for that top!🐾)


And do remember the big picture (imo also true for great content on social media!): “A responsibility of literature is to make people awake, present, alive.”

And: “We should never underestimate people. They do desire the cut of truth.” (Natalie Goldberg)

So, what’s your relationship with writing now?  

(Cover image: Jodie Cook on Unsplash) 

Hi! Besides being a trauma-informed coach, I’m a comms professional and creative for social impact. On my CV, I have life experience in leadership. Off it, I know about some hard edges of life. Through it all, I write to connect the dots and help bring out the best in people.

Reach out via LinkedIn or Email if you’re now feeling a tingle of connection, excitement, thirst for more. Or go back to the Blog to keep exploring.