Polishing one’s writing can be a lonely affair.
1. Enlist the aid of others–a writing critique group or even a good friend you trust. Sometimes simply reading aloud to yoruself helps, but when there is an audience, one’s own revision instincts sharpen.
2. Listen to comments on your specific piece., Evaluate, edit in light of those comments, but do not slavishly follow–trust your own creative instincts.
3. Listen to comments made to and by others. Yesterday comments made to another reminded me that the words “appear” and “seem” weaken everyone’s writing
4. Repeats are not necessary unless you have a distinct purpose for them. Mindlessly repeating words is redundancy and irritates readers. Repeating for emphasis awakens readers to your intent.
5. Write for your readers not just for yourself. Journals are for self-directed writing. All else should be selfless.