Recent reading has told me that manuscripts should go through the following cycle: write the entire piece, throw it in a drawer for a bit, edit. Working on my own pieces, I’m thinking that’s a great idea…so long as you don’t leave it in the drawer too long.
When you wait, you distance yourself from the piece. When you come back, it’s like reading the piece with fresh eyes. You’re reading with a different mindset than you wrote, allowing you to be less emotional, and perhaps even a bit more objective about the piece as you work through the editing. That objectivity makes it much simpler to remove the bits you might have felt sentimental about right after writing.
Of course, as I’m learning the hard way, you really shouldn’t let it sit around too long, or you mind find yourself so disconnected from it that you don’t know how to best approach it.