If you work as a writer in any capacity, you’re likely to do some editing. While many writers do use another editor, it’s always a good idea to read through your work before submitting it. Some freelance writers do all their own editing, which can be difficult because it’s sometimes challenging to find errors in your own work. But you can improve your editing skills, which can be a beneficial tool for any writer.
Know your weaknesses
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing. Know your personal challenges when writing and look for those when you’re editing. Try to use active voice rather than passive voice, something many writers struggle with. Utilize a digital editor to help you find mistakes and be aware of the mistakes you make often.
A quick initial read-through of your writing can often find most mistakes. Once you complete the initial edit, go back and thoroughly check everything line by line. This includes spelling, grammatical errors, and syntax. Long sentences can be hard to read and may not get your message across like shorter sentences. Break up sentences to help get the point across and keep your reader interested.
Improve your skills
People often get comfortable in their writing, which can lead to stagnation. Improve your writing skills by trying new words or a different writing style. Keep a thesaurus handy to help you avoid using the same words over and over. Be wary of using complex words unless it adds something to your writing. Some readers may not be aware of the meaning of uncommonly used words, leading them to lose interest.
Editing can be a chore, but it’s valuable for writers to also be good editors. Improving your editing skills can save time and prevent the need to rewrite. Use a style guide and online tools to help you find mistakes and make changes to your work so it’s easy to understand and engaging to your target audience.