Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.
—Kyle Wiens, iFixit CEO
Clean Writing = Credibility
Your words are your voice, your calling card, the face you present to the world. Producing polished and eloquent writing requires more than Spellcheck, and is essential to your message being well-received. Your writing has to be able to stand on its own, without the benefit of intonation and expression, and it must communicate clearly and effectively the ideas or stories that you want to present. Your credibility is on the line, and one mistake or awkward phrase can cost you your audience. For any piece of writing you consider important, editing is essential.
Your Time Is Valuable
Most people find that they’re either the detail person or the “big idea” person, but not both. To any project, both are invaluable, as the grand concept can be lost if the project isn’t presented cleanly. As they say, “The devil is in the details.”
For example, do you know whether it’s “uncharted waters” or “unchartered waters”? Do you know when to use then or than? Who or whom? Impinge or infringe? Is impactful a real word? Are you sure? (And do you have time to check?) The point is, if you’re plotting out the next great advertising campaign or novel, your mind is rightfully occupied with larger concepts. You can’t be bogged down by every comma and apostrophe, but at the same time, these things matter immensely. That’s why you need an editor.
Cutting Corners Can Cost You Your Audience
Sometimes it’s enough to have a fresh set of eyes read over your writing; perhaps you’re sending an email to the boss explaining a sticky situation, or drafting a letter to the editor of your favorite magazine. Most people are not perfect, and a grammatical error in this case is unlikely to cloud your message. But when you’ve spent a significant amount of time and energy on a project, a campaign, a proposal, a story, or a book, it would be foolish to not go that last step and have it professionally edited.
You will likely only get one shot to put your writing in front of its desired audience. If the ideas aren’t as clear as you thought, or the wording is awkward, or the intended humor is regarded as juvenile, your audience is lost. And editing will do you no good at this point because your audience will not be back for more. Make certain your writing is polished and professionally edited before you put it out and you can avoid this pitfall.
Editing Tailored to Your Project
The kind of editing each project requires can vary. There are two main kinds of editing: line editing, which consists of simple spelling, punctuation and grammar corrections; and content editing, which is more in-depth and covers consistency, development, style and pacing. Content editing includes suggestions and advice and will usually involve some rewriting on the author’s part.
An additional option is to have your project evaluated. This is more commonly used on more extensive projects such as a book, and helps to determine the viability of the subject as well as the quality of the writing. An evaluation will yield several pages of advice and suggestions on how the project can be improved.
If you have a project that would benefit from professional editing, please get in touch with me. I will ensure your writing is polished, your ideas are clear, and your best face is presented to the world.