Proofing, and grammar, and spell check, OH MY! Many writers seeking to self-publish may contemplate cutting corners in the publishing process for several different reasons. Some consider it to cut costs, others think they can do a better job than another professional, and still others just happen to know a guy who knows a guy who can take care of it for free! We all do it — try to find ways around the system. However, sometimes shortcuts can cut in more ways than one.
I was in AP (Advanced Placement) English courses in high school and went on to obtain my college degree in English. Through the years I have had some experience editing essays, short stories, excerpts, and recently a book. I in no way proclaim myself to be an expert, but I must say, I do a pretty good job. This is a great skill to possess as a writer. It’s right up my alley. Since I finally decided to pursue a career in writing, then it only makes since that I edit my own work. YES! Why waste my time or money hiring someone else to do the very job I’ve done on the side for years? MISTAKE! MISTAKE! MISTAKE!
Despite my skill and ability to edit, I do not edit my own work. Especially not print work. Of course I proof my own blogs, but the difference is I can always go back and edit my blog content. Works in print are here to stay (at least until the copyright is revised). But of course by then, the work has been distributed to 100’s, even 1000’s of readers, all gawking at the typos and errors.
It is very difficult for me to edit my own work. I can read it ten times and still miss things. Why is that? It’s quite simple actually. For example: When writing, you know exactly what you intend to say. But the words are in your head. Once you begin the process of transferring the information in your head to paper, you may mistakenly leave a word out. When you re-read that sentence, you don’t notice the missing word because instead of reading what the paper actually says, your mind reads the sentence the way you intended it to be read.
Regardless of how talented a writer is, we all make errors in our writing and it is difficult to catch one’s own errors. I will err on the side of caution and have someone else edit my work for me. I refuse to cut corners here because it’s too hard to rectify the error once it’s in print. In fact, it can’t be rectified.