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STOP! Never send out your first draft.

Once you have written your first draft you should not click Save and send it off to the audience. This is as true for a two paragraph email as for a 20 page report.

Always revise and edit your work. Make it as good as you reasonably can before you declare it finished.

Don’t take it from me. Take it from two of the greatest writers.

Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”

Mark Twain said “Writing is easy. You just cross out the wrong words.”

Here are some tips to help you revise and edit your work.

✅ If you can, leave the draft for a day or two so you come back to it with a fresh mind.

✅ Fewer words is usually better than more words so try to reduce the document by at least 10 per cent.

✅ Work hard on getting the opening right. Often I find the first draft includes lots of unnecessary information in the introduction, words written as a sort of warm up, to get the thing going. These can be quickly deleted and the document will be the better for it

✅ Don’t be afraid to “kill your darlings”. Do not keep something in the document just because you spent a long time writing it. If it does not add value to the reader it needs to be cut out.

✅ Reading your words aloud can really help you with making sure it flows properly.

If you have any tips for revising your writing let me know in the Comments below.

Gary Bandy Limited is a company registered in Cardiff, number 5660437.

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