But I'm constantly rewriting because, much to my dismay, I know how important it is. Rewriting isn't telling you how wrong you are; it's just telling you how much better you can be. And so many authors sing its praises. It would be a lie to say your favorite author — whether it's Stephen King, John Steinbeck, or Maya Angelou — didn't rewrite.
Reading notes in a document or email can be upsetting, and written communication is never as precise as we need it to be. Until we get a sarcastic emoji or replace all of our language with GIFs, tone is going to be impossible to discern. Call or sit down with your reviewer in person to get a better idea of what each note means.
Why are you writing this piece of content? Why is this article or book important? Whether you're writing 1,000 words or 50,000 words, everything needs to further the conversation and connect back to the original intent.
Take a look at the source materials to figure this out. For an article, this could mean the publication's guidelines and your original notes. With these in hand, write a list of questions you have about the content that relate to the article's main idea. If you can’t answer them, find the answers as you go through the rewrite. Think of it as a scavenger hunt that will eventually lead to successful publication.
If the content still isn't working after doing each of these things, it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes, you don't just need to do a major overhaul of the content — you might need to start from scratch.
Rewriting can be scary: My stomach drops about 50 feet each time I get a ton of notes instead of a gold star. But you're never going to create A-plus articles on the first try. Don't let yourself be intimidated; tackle those edits head-on so your content gets the love it deserves.