Never edit your own writing.
That's what writers and small-business owners hear all the time.
It doesn't matter if it's a press release or a weekly blog post. Always have someone with a fresh perspective give your work a thorough once-over before hitting publish. Not only can they tell you if what you wrote is good or bad, but they can offer advice and help spot that misspelled word, missing comma, etc.
But what if having someone edit your writing isn't an option?
What if you need to get something written and published now?
What if you're stubborn and prefer to edit your own writing?
While trying to edit your own writing for style, tone, structure, and substance aren't ideal, it's not impossible, either. At Edit This®, we want to be available to take many of those writing and editing tasks off your plate. But we also love to educate. So if you prefer to edit your own writing, or you don't have a choice in the matter, here are 6 tips to ensure what you publish is the best it can possibly be.
How to edit your own writing
Read out loud
So many errors with sentence structure, wordiness, and grammar can be fixed or simplified by reading your work out loud. If I find myself stumbling over big words or running out of breath reading a long sentence out loud, then I know it's time for edits.
Edit in a different format
Oh, the power small visual changes have on being able to edit your own writing effectively! For example, print the article and use a red pen to make edits. If on your laptop, change the text size, font, and color or convert from Word to PDF. If you're writing a blog post, copy and paste it into the program you're publishing it in (WordPress, etc.).
I'm sure you've heard this tip before. Simply write and then let it sit for a few hours, overnight, or a few days. By doing so, your brain gets an automatic reset so you can transition easily from writer to editor. When you come back, you're likely to notice misspellings, confusing jargon, and inconsistencies.
Edit in smaller steps
It can be difficult trying to read for grammar, sentence structure, flow, wordiness, etc. all at once. So break the editing process up into manageable steps by checking only for grammar first, then come back and focus on wordiness, and so on and so on.
Read in reverse
I don't do this personally, but I hear it is a great tactic to help you edit your own writing. Instead of reading each paragraph front to back, reverse it, and see what happens.
There's an app for that
If you can't have someone read and edit your work, at least go beyond the traditional spellcheck on your computer and invest in one of many editor applications. Grammarly is a great proofreading tool, and I swear by it. There are others, too, including WhiteSmoke and Hemingway Editor.
What self-editing tips do you suggest? Let me know.
Call Edit This for all your writing and editing needs
It's fun to tease friends on Facebook or point out errors in written copy, but any spelling or grammar error in business writing – brochures, advertisements, your website copy, blogs, press releases, a postcard, etc. – wreak havoc on your company's image.
In fact, studies show that when choosing between two companies, most customers prefer the one with clear and error-free written communication. So be careful as you edit your own writing.
Edit This is a writing and editing services company in Denton, TX that specializes in producing written and error-free copy that explains your passion, promotes your products and services, and helps you stand out.
Our list of services include:
* Website copy
* Press Releases
* And so much more
Whether you need us to write content from scratch or put a better spin on what you've written, we are the local writing and editing partner every business owner needs.
Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.