My editing process is disorganized. Perhaps the only time when it gets better is when I print things out onto actual paper, sit at my desk, and cross things out. But there’s no process there, no real objective besides finding the really bad stuff and getting it gone.
But—one thing I’ve always done with newsletters is give them what I call a snark pass. After I’ve finished a first draft I skim the text and, ignoring the spelling mistakes or even the subject matter, I just try to focus on removing all the sarcasm and all the snarky, judgmental stuff that sometimes slips in.
Does this sentence really need me to make that off-comment about how something “still holds up” as if I’m the arbiter of all good things? Does this joke punch up or punch down? Is there a way I could rephrase this sentence to be kinder to both sides of the argument, not in a “both sides” sort of way, but is it possible to be less of a jerk when describing a point of view that I disagree with? Can I make this more honest?
A snark pass helps get rid of all that junk that gets in the way of a story well told, stripping it down to the kindest version that a piece can be.