Understanding the Role of Self-editing vs. Professional Editing

Every writer knows that first drafts are like raw diamonds. They have the potential to shine but require a lot of polishing. This is where editing comes into play. You could do it yourself, hire a professional, or do a mix of both. Let’s unravel the mystery of self-editing vs. professional editing and see where each can be most beneficial.

Self-editing vs. Professional Editing

Self-editing vs. Professional Editing

Imagine you’re on a DIY project. You have two options: You could do it yourself with the tools and skills you’ve developed, or hire a pro with specialized tools and years of experience. Similarly, in the world of writing, you can choose between self-editing and professional editing. Each has its own strengths and drawbacks.

Pros and Cons of Self-editing

On the bright side, self-editing allows you to maintain control over your work, helps you improve your writing skills, and it’s free! However, on the flip side, you might miss out on mistakes that are clear to others, and it could be time-consuming.

Pros and Cons of Professional Editing

With professional editing, you get the benefit of an experienced eye that can spot errors and provide valuable feedback. It can save you time and elevate the quality of your work. However, it does come with a cost, and depending on the editor, you might find some of their suggestions don’t align with your vision.

Where to Find Professional Editors

Suppose you decide to take the professional route. In that case, there are many places to find seasoned editors: Facebook groups for writers, freelance boards like Upwork or Freelancer, and even professional networks like LinkedIn.

My Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Editing

  1. First pass-through with my eyes: Like a detective, I hunt for obvious errors and awkward phrases that my eager typing fingers may have left behind.
  2. Grammarly Premium pass-through: It’s time for my trusty digital sidekick to join the party and help me spot the errors that slipped past my gaze.
  3. ProWritingAid pass-through: This software takes a deep dive into my manuscript, analyzing it for readability, consistency and grammar.
  4. Google Docs spell check: This built-in checker serves as an extra layer of proofreading, catching any spelling errors that may have slipped through.
  5. Second pass-through with Word’s text-to-speech feature: Hearing my work read aloud helps me identify awkward sentences and spot errors I might have missed.
  6. Beta readers proofread: Finally, I enlist the help of my trusted beta readers. Their fresh perspectives can catch any lingering issues and provide valuable feedback.

So, whether you’re in the self-editing camp, the professional editing camp, or like me, a resident of both, remember that each manuscript and each writer may require a different approach.