Jeanne Kisacky talks at length about the crucial skill of self-editing for writers. In order to do this well, you need to think like an editor, which can be a terrifying, dangerous state to impose on your mind (just from the editors I've met). Oh, I kid, I love you all. Please don't red-pen my precious, precious words!
In my experience, however, good editing is not just a product of piecemeal strategies, but of a particular mindset. Editors think differently about writing than do writers.
Jeanne elaborates on these four points, and I think anyone who writes and needs to edit their own work (that's basically anyone who writes) would benefit from clicking through to the article:
- Check Your Ego at the Office Door
- Trust Your Reader’s Instincts and Train Yourself to Act on Them.
- Justifications Are a Sign It Needs Editing
- Keeping Your Entire Book in Your Head
There are also some resources in that article to find out more about training yourself to be a good self-editor.