5 Reasons Why You Need an Editor
I love to have guest bloggers on the site, and I’m so excited to introduce Callie Revell to you! Callie has a gift for words and a gift for editing. She and I have collaborated on a few projects, and I’m looking forward to many, many more in the future! Thank you for this wonderful post about why editors are so vitally important to the publishing process, Callie!!
By Callie Revell
When working on a novel, thesis, or even a blog post, it might be tempting to cut out the middle man and skip straight to the publishing process. However, trying to edit your own work—or getting a friend to casually do it for you—can seriously cost you in the long run. Even the smallest mistake can harm your credibility. The wrong word choice can result in offensive ambiguity. Remember, once something is published, it is permanent, even if it’s only online. What you write is a reflection of your intelligence and dedication. An editor can help you make that reflection as flattering as possible.
Here are five reasons why every writer needs an editor:
1. It’s important to show your work to a handful of trusted people who won’t judge you before showing it to millions who will.
Don’t believe me? Check out the comment sections on popular blogs or, if you’re writing a book, the review sections on Amazon.com. There will always be harsh critics out there, but there’s no reason to show them your first draft. If you are formally and professionally publishing something, your name will be affected by how your work is received. It is always worth the time and effort to get a set of professional eyes to scour your work for mistakes and points to improve. Part of an editor’s job is to protect your reputation and credibility.
2. We know what you’re trying to say, and we’ll help you say it.
Do you have a close friend who always finishes your sentences? For me, it’s my husband. If I’m stumbling over my words or repeating myself trying to convey an idea, he’ll jump in for me and give me the right words. Editors can do that for you. We can tell if you’re struggling to express a thought or dancing around a difficult subject. We’re here for you, and we will help you iron out all those wrinkles so your true emotions can shine through.
3. Microsoft Word doesn’t catch all mistakes.
If you are trusting the magical squiggly lines to catch everything, you will be sorely disappointed. While I know Microsoft Word and other word processing programs have developed great spelling and grammar checking software, it’s not nearly as effective as a human brain going over your work. According to a recent article published in The Telegraph, the world’s largest supercomputer still takes forty minutes to accomplish what the human brain can do in one second.
Although word processors are getting more accurate, they can never replace an editor. Take a look at the following screenshot.
Although Word caught a few mistakes in this draft, it did not prompt the author to correct:
- Malapropism (interchanging similar-sounding words like “from” and “form”). These are easy typos to make and are difficult to catch. One slip of the finger on the keyboard can quickly turn “quite” into “quiet.”
- Verb Mix-Ups (lie vs. lay).
- Homophone Mix-Ups (their vs. they’re).
- Sudden Verb Tense Changes.
- Formatting Issues.
- Missing Commas.
All of these mistakes would have been caught by a good editor.
4. Editors provide motivation to be your best and finish what you’ve started.
When you’re paying someone to edit your work and they’re depending on your next installment to help pay the bills, they will find a way to get you motivated! Having someone working for you and keeping you accountable to your schedule is invaluable.
5. Criticism makes you better.
It’s good for you, as a writer and as a human being. Gracefully accepting constructive criticism is a useful skill in any area of life. We can all improve ourselves in some way, and working with an editor is a great way to improve the way you write. A good editor will also teach you how to make fewer mistakes in the future. Working with an editor will give you the confidence to find your own voice and effectively communicate your ideas to others.
Callie Revell runs Mighty Markup (www.mightymarkup.com), a website catering to writers looking to improve their language skills. The website’s blog publishes helpful writing tips, linguistic studies, and grammar demonstrations to develop a well-rounded appreciation of the English language. Her editing services include book manuscripts, blog posts, websites, articles, and much more. Her goal is to help her clients successfully use English to communicate their professional and personal ideas with others.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minors in Communications and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. During her time at Hardin-Simmons, she served as Chief Copy Editor of the school’s student-run newspaper, The Brand, for two years and as the Head Literary Editor for the school’s literary arts publication, The Corral, her junior and senior year. She received the Campbell-Lacy Creative Writing Award two years in a row. She currently works as a Freelance Writer for NOW Magazine, a publication serving the southern Dallas-Fort Worth area. Thanks to the power of the internet, her writing and editing services extend worldwide. She lives in DeSoto, Texas with her husband, Sam, and their two pets: a Labrador retriever named Sadie and a chinchilla named Rigby.
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