The 4-Step Editing Checklist

This is how you finally put an end to over-editing

Nicolas Cole
5 min readMay 2, 2024


I want to help you level-up your editing game with 4 dead-simple steps (that you’ll actually use).

But first, I want to address the elephant in the room — time.

  • Is pouring over your work really worth it?
  • How much time should you invest in editing?

In your first year of writing online, editing your work is a waste of time. Period.

And even after your first year, you don’t want to waste precious hours nitpicking every single word.

The problem with editing your work your first year of writing online is you don’t know yet what you’re editing for. You write something. You step away from it. You come back. What are you going to add, subtract, tweak, ro re-write altogether?

More importantly, what’s driving your decisions?

So much of what we preach in Ship 30 for 30 is rooted in moving beyond assumptions and making decisions with data. And that first year of writing online, you have no data. All you have are assumptions. You “assume” you should edit out all your weird metaphors so sound more “professional.” You “assume” you should expand some sections and compress others. As a result, you over-edit based on what you “think” without having any real signal as to what’s driving those decisions in the first place.

The only question you should be…



Nicolas Cole

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