Edit for you, your fans, then your detractors, so that you keep your work rewarding.
Neil Strauss has written eight New York Times bestsellers, including The Game and The Truth. He’s been an editor at Rolling Stone and a staff writer for The New York Times and has built highly profitable companies. Even if you never want to write, his thinking can be applied nearly everywhere. Neil has found that editing for yourself, your fans, and your critics, ensures that your work is rewarding and sustainable. It also ‘hater-proofs’ your work as you answer your critics—their questions, their critiques—in a way that is self-aware, fun, and entertaining.
Edit for you.
What do I like? To keep going, you must be excited about it.
Edit for your fans.
Think about what would be most enjoyable and helpful to your fans. But don’t try and pretzel yourself to fit expectations or you will begrudge it and it will show in the writing.
Edit for your detractors.
What would detractors try and pick apart, discredit, or make fun of? Make fun of yourself (“I know this is laughably contradictory, but...”) or bring up a likely criticism and address it head-on (e.g. “Some people might understandably say…[criticism]”).
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