Editing Sentences and Code

I’ve spent the last week on editing the past week for a major paper, and I realized that I am horrible at editing. I can’t edit myself worth a damn - I miss every mistake that I’ve written, and I am horrible at cutting pieces of text. Wishing that I could have a good method for editing like I do for debugging. I suppose it’s probably because I do debugging more than I do editing. It may also be because editing doesn’t really have a defined end - when you’re debugging, when it passes all the tests, it’s done.

This one had a defined end date set by a deadline, and beings me to a point. I believe that it is the reason that I tend to put writing projects off until later in the process, almost too late. I end up writing up to the point where I need to ask someone else to do the proofing and editing for me. When I am set by a deadline, I tend to get the writing done even if it’s a crunch. It’s not the same with coding projects, which will be short-cutted and work worse when I let them go to the last minute. The coding style that I’ve developed allows for progress in short chunks, a little at a time, incrementally improving. Editing, I understand, should happen the same way, but it is something that I don’t really have enough practice about.

This week I start on my progress on my thesis proposal, on the writing part. The writing part is the easy part for me at least. For the next couple months I’ll be slowly writing the proposal and then the hard part will occur in the editing. Hopefully a bit of hard work and more time than I usually have for editing will make it work.