I don’t often participate in these Q & A things, but this one caught my eye, so…
Do you edit your work before posting it?
Apart from correcting typos and spellings , how much (if any) of a post do you change before you send it out in the world?
Do you think that re-drafting a piece can “rob” it of its spontaneity?
My response to all three questions would be simple.
You mean you DON’T edit your writing? How can you publish something you have not edited? Aside from just picking up typos, awkward or clumsy sentences, writing is not a “spontaneous” activity. It’s art.
Editing is not “extra.” It’s part of the process. I grant you no one needs to spend a whole day editing a 500-word post, but neither do you just drop it on the page and assume your grammar, phrasing, and meaning were perfect without at the very least checking whether or not what you said makes sense to you and will make sense to readers.
It means you supply context and if necessary, background and sources. It means you are not talking nonsense or jabbering. Would you read a book that had not been edited?
While I understand typos and errors (especially in comments), I won’t read badly written posts. Hell, I shout out corrected grammar for announcers on TV advertisements. Note that this can be really annoying, but I do it anyway.
Spontaneity? Seriously? That’s would be like giving a concert without learning to play the instrument.
Writing is art. It isn’t finger painting for toddlers. That is also why you see so many “blogs” where the “author” lasts a few weeks and then abandons the project. They discover that writing requires work. It also requires intelligence, talent, and class. You don’t build an audience without making an effort to be good at it.
There is a reason why a first draft is not a final draft. Most good writing requires a minimum of three drafts. That is also why so many comments are incomprehensible. Why WordPress does not let you go back and correct a comment I don’t know, but I often hit return when I don’t intend to and then I feel like I need another comment or three to fix what I meant to say the first time.
I write a first draft. I carefully reread it then leave it to rest for a while and come back and reread it. This is usually the almost final edit, though I may come back and fix a few words here and there. If by the end of the second (or third) draft, I’m not happy with it I may decide to trash the post without publishing it. Occasionally, I publish something either accidentally or fail to realize it isn’t well-written. THEN I trash it. It’s much better to toss it before publication.
So in answer to the three part question, all I can say is “You mean, you DON’T edit your writing? What’s wrong with you?”
If you don’t edit your writing, you are not a writer.
How much and how many times you edit a piece (depending on subject matter) is a better question. How much editing is enough is always a good question and one that can be difficult to answer. Since perfection isn’t possible, everyone has to recognize when a piece is “good enough” to post. Knowing when a piece ready is also art.