My Me as a Reader

February 7th, 2017

Sometimes you need to listen to the little voices in your head, they can offer solid advice, especially when you’re writing.

When I write I think about who I am writing for, and I try to step into their mindset when I reread my writing so that I can see if I am actually making sense or if I need to rephrase things in a way another person could understand it. Sometimes it is hard to channel those inner little voices, and sometimes they yell at you and tell you to just make the damn point already. Or maybe that’s the anxiety talking, either way, you gotta listen.

When I write academically and I find myself struggling to see if it is all fitting together, I send it to my mom. She’s the one person outside of myself that I always have contact with who will give it to me straight if I’m not making sense, or if something needs to be explained more. I tend to be rather vague in some areas, I know, its like I was meant to be an English teacher, and sometimes there is too much information that I think the reader absolutely must know, but in reality probably doesn’t care about. Mom helps me see that.

I do my best to be a close reader for other people and not get wrapped up in just grammar usage and phrasing. I’ve developed a multi-step process for revising people’s writing that I also use on my own: first is the grammar level, because how can I get through an article if there’s no capitalization or punctuation? Second is reading to make sure it flows together well and if there are bits that aren’t so great I’ll think of ways to help them smooth it out a little and leave comments in the margins. Third, reading what they actually have to say and processing everything, and making sure it all makes sense in the order they have it in. And of course with this last step, there are lots of comments and suggestions that I leave to help them improve any rough spots like being vague, etc.

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