"Kill your darlings" - was reputedly the advice to writers offered by William Faulkner, Nobel Prize winning novelist of the American South.
In other words, when it comes to editing your own words - you should be ruthless.
Strip out extraneous detail, remove passages you love but serve no useful purpose - always cut to the quick. Aim for absolute clarity in your prose and precision in your story telling.
The trouble is, it's difficult to get that necessary sense of perspective and distance when you've been so completely immersed in writing and research a long form piece.
As a content writer I find editing my work particularly challenging, often because there's very little turn around time between completing an eBook and publishing it.
By the time I’ve finished - my judgement invariably feels shot, I can't see the wood for the trees and I simply want to go down the pub.
Which is why, last week, when I’d finished a particularly complex eBook for a client, I enlisted my fellow writer Katie Hughes to help with the final edit.
She set about the task with true Faulknerian relish. Like a newspaper editor in some old Hollywood movie, with her visor on and cheroot clamped between her teeth, she wielded her blue pencil with excellent results.
She cut it down, took out some terrible bits, made some brilliant suggestions for improvements and generally made my work 100% better.
Hubspot has some great advice for writing eBooks here - how to research, write and design them - but you should never forget the power of peer review...
Every writer needs a great editor and B2B writers are no exception. Writing is by necessity a solitary activity, but a second pair of eyes can really help sharpen your prose, tighten your arguments and raise your game...