Spring Cleaning: What To Toss From Your Writing | Writer’s Relief

Apr 3, 2024 | Writing Tips

Spring Cleaning: What To Toss From Your Writing | Writer’s Relief

Spring cleaning usually makes you think of mopping floors, wiping down windows, or raking out the flower beds. But at Writer’s Relief, spring cleaning means dusting off the red pen and putting a shine on your poetry, short story, personal essay, or novel! Here’s what you should toss from your writing to make it more appealing to readers, editors, and literary agents.

Spring Cleaning Your Writing: What To Toss, What To Keep

Brush Off The Dust: If your writing has a dusting of typos or grammar errors, it’s time to get out your red pen and start polishing. You can proofread your own work, but having fresh eyes look over your writing might catch more errors. Have a grammar-savvy friend or a professional proofreader review and clean up your manuscript so that it sparkles!

Open Up The Windows: How do you “open up the windows” and give your writing a breath of fresh air? Get feedback on your draft from other writers and readers! Join an online or local writing group or share your draft with friends or family. They’ll see your work from another perspective and may be able to offer constructive suggestions.

If your current project seems a little stale, writing exercises, a new point of view (from reading the works of other authors), or writing prompts may help you freshen it up. Have you been struggling with a dinner party scene in your newest draft? Maybe it’s time to change the location! Instead of a fancy restaurant, perhaps it’s an intimate gathering at someone’s house. Or the private argument that’s been brewing between your two main characters might instead become a public brawl in front of friends, family, or strangers in Walmart.

Toss Out What You Don’t Need: Have you been clinging to a plot point that’s just not working? Maybe there’s a line in your poem or story that you love, but it doesn’t work with the rest of the piece. There may be elements in your draft that could be eliminated to tighten and improve your work. And since today’s readers favor shorter works over longer, editing your writing may improve your odds of getting published. Sometimes you need to let things go, whether it’s an old movie ticket stub, a broken blender, or an idea that doesn’t gel with the rest of your writing project.

Give Something You Put Away A Second Look: Like bringing out warm-weather clothes after a long winter, consider giving a second look to your packed-away unpublished or unfinished poems, short stories, or book manuscript.

Back when you first were writing these projects, you may have been disappointed with the results or stumped when you couldn’t think of a satisfying way to complete the work. Now that some time has passed, consider circling back to these unfinished pieces. You may come up with a new idea or a rewrite that will take your project from “hmmm, no” to “heck, yes!”

In spring, a writer’s fancy turns to…getting published! Once you’ve dusted, polished, and used these writing tips to freshen up your work, the research experts at Writer’s Relief can target the best markets for your work and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Learn more about our services and submit your work to our Review Board today!

Whether you want to take the traditional publishing route or are thinking about self-publishing, Writer’s Relief can help. Give us a call, and we will point you in the right direction!


Question: What should you toss from your writing?