Print Out Your Story to Edit

via thefreelancestrategist.com

via thefreelancestrategist.com

As I’ve said before, I’m not the best editor.

I have my moments, though.

In college, I always edited my papers on my laptop or, if I was at school, on the lab computers. I never thought twice about it.

I thought that would be the easiest way because everyone else was doing it. I never even thought about printing something out to make edits. My professors never touched on that, either. I can’t blame them.

Any college student today has had enough problems trying to print anything out at a college or university, I’m sure. It’s the biggest pain in the ass and I’m assuming it will only get worse. But I digress.

When I was hired at the Chronicle, I saw that my editors would print out “proofs” of the paper each day to make physical edits to the pages. I thought it was weird, seriously expensive and a waste of time.

I noticed some of my fellow reporters did it, as well. I was intrigued, but I still didn’t want to try it. I’m not sure why.

My thoughts have changed and I’ve done a complete 180 on it. I don’t print out every story, but I do for my major news or feature stories.

With my laptop, I’m confident I can handle the regular news stories there. With the longer, more detailed stories, I like to give them a serious look over. When I see something I can easily turn to my computer and change it. It’s almost like a system now.

It may seem weird, but try it. You get the full effect of the story in front of you and it’s a lot harder to get distracted when you don’t have Twitter in a pop-up window on your screen.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and editing, in general, from trying this method. It’s a little time consuming, sure, but it makes me feel a lot better handing in the story to my editors.

It’s something to try.

Jonathan

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