The Importance of Editing
Writing isn’t easy. There are times when you realize you’ve lost an hour staring out the window waiting for the next word to come. Once you’ve finished writing your manuscript, the relief and satisfaction is palpable. But you’re not done yet! The final step before you can send your writing out is to edit it.
As a copyeditor, I can tell you that even with my own work, a second pair of eyes is important. What makes sense to you might not make sense to others. As the author, you understand how and where to place emphasis, but your readers do not. Grammar and punctuation are incredibly helpful in combating this problem, but it’s not enough.
Continuity, context, capitalizations…editors check for all of these things and more. Authors cannot be experts in everything; that’s where the support team comes in to play. Not only is reading a poorly edited book or article frustrating, it can adversely affect how your work is perceived on its own merits. It’s true that the quality of writing can alter the readers’ view of the author and of the authors’ work. Indeed, academic journals are looking for quality of research and methodology as well as quality of writing in their submissions process. Fail in either and your work has a lesser chance for publication.
What’s the solution? Word processing software will only take you so far; to reap the benefits of proper editing, you need a proper editor. Even for those who self-publish, copyeditors are readily available. A quick online search can find you more than 5 million results.
- If that’s the case, how do you determine the right choice for you?
- Determine what you are looking for in an editor: Do you need someone to verify and format your reference page?
- Are you looking for someone to assist with grammar and word choices?
- Do you need more services than editing, i.e., artwork or graphic design?
What type of manuscript are you writing; perhaps you should be looking for an editor that specializes in novels, academic submissions, poetry, or technical writing. Utilize these specific needs to look for the right solution for you.
Editing is not a one-way process, communication is key. Once you’ve decided upon an editor or editing service provider, reach out to them and discuss the process. Editors are aware that your writing is