We could all USE an editor, but how often DO we use one? When should you hire an editor and when should you do your own editing?
In this episode I talk with editor and blogger Sarah Steidl about common editing mistakes and when you should hire someone instead of trying to edit your own work. Sarah blogs at Girl Grows Up, is the editor for Grace Table (a blog I LOVE and have guest posted on), and is an editor-for-hire at Soleil Editing. All that AND a mom of two!
Listen to Create If Writing – Episode 008
Two of my favorite pieces of Sarah’s writing are:
Squeezing Summer In (GREAT as we’re moving into summer!)
At a Glance
- Sarah’s rule of thumb is that if you are asking people to pay you for your writing, you need an editor.
- It’s also a good idea to have extra eyes if you are writing a guest post or anything else for publication, whether that is an editor or a fellow writer/blogger.
- When working with an editor, know what you want in terms of the scope of editing. (Think: grammatical errors or a full-content edit for the clarity of your message.)
- Content & developmental edits come before line edits and proofreading.
- When looking for an editor, word of mouth is a great place to start. You should also look at the types of work that the editor does.
- Typos remind us that we are all human. BUT the less they happen, the better.
Tips for Self-Editing
- When you hit your final draft, let it sit for as long as possible. A few days if you can.
- Come back to your piece and try to read it as a totally new audience member.
- Read for clarity and cut things that are unnecessary or anything that clouds your meaning.
- Let it sit again for a few hours or a few days.
- Print it out and read out loud, slowly, to catch errors.
Strunk and White’s Elements of Style
Word Crimes on Read, Write, Muse (we mention this in the interview)
The Odd Habits and Curious Customs of Famous Writers on Brain Pickings
My Big Takeaway
I think this interview made me realize that I need to start making use of an editor. (Note: I ALMOST hit publish with a glaring error in the previous sentence. PROOF!) As a total cheapskate, I like to think that I can self-edit well. But with several books on Amazon that have NEVER seen an editor, I am now uncomfortably wondering how many mistakes are in there. Eeek! No one likes to have someone point out a mistake. It’s like having someone tell you that you have spinach in your teeth. You hate hearing it, but you’d rather not have spinach in your teeth. Am I right?
What I Want to Know from You
Have you ever used an editor? What was your experience like? What is your biggest drawback to using an editor?
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