Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why Every Writer Should Also Be An Editor

My today's guest post is by Chesley Maldonado, a full-time freelance writer and friend. Chesley is also an editor and is gracious enough to share her knowledge via this post. So enjoy reading it!

Writing and editing go hand in hand. No matter how good you are at writing, you are bound to make mistakes. Not only will you make mistakes, but your first draft will never be the best you can do. It is so important to proofread your work, and to look at it objectively. Making changes to what you write is just as vital as doing the initial writing. If you don't think that it is important to have an editor's eye as a writer, consider the following.

Typos happen. I have learnt that it is quite easy to forget an "s" at the end of a word, or put an "f" in place of an "r" when typing quickly. Reading over my work, I often spot a missing or misplaced letter. Some of the typos that I make could change the meaning of a sentence entirely, and if I didn't edit my work, there would be careless mistakes in it all of the time.

Sometimes the best ideas don't come to you until after you finish writing a piece. Revisiting your draft and adding new ideas, strengthening old ones, and getting rid of weaker ideas will always make a stronger piece. Why settle for what you wrote when you can edit the work and make it that much better?

Editing can help you notice your writing habits. You might use the same word or phrase repeatedly without realizing it. Some writers have the habit of emphasizing the same point. Awkward sentence structure used to be a habit of mine. It was sometimes difficult to explain certain things or find the right words, so I would write out my thought in any way that I could. The trouble was that other people didn't understand. That is, of course until I edited.

Editing your own work will simply make you a better writer. Taking an objective look at what you have written will force you to see where you can make improvements. It will also allow you to take notice of what you do right. The changes that you create, big or small, will always make for a more polished piece.

Being an editor is an important part of being a writer. Even the best writers edit their work, or they pay someone else to do it for them.

Chesley Maldonado
is a full-time freelance writer (and editor) who posts regularly to, a blog full of practical tips and first-hand (or researched) advice about the freelance writing career. She specializes in web content and works with clients and writers from all over the world. Her main interests are personal development, relationships, and personal finance. Visit her website to learn more: or follow her on Twitter @writtenquality.


Glynis said...

I decided to stop writing for an hour and edit what I had written. I was surprised by what I changed and corrected. Good advice, thanks for an interesting article.

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Hi Glynis,
I usually write a draft and then wait a day to edit it. And I always print it out to read before I send it to the client. It's incredible how easy it is to miss the small mistakes while trying to edit a piece online!
Are you enjoying a very hot summer?
Regards, Usha