Face it, anyone can write. Writing is one of the most basic of skills. And it’s a skill that’s called upon frequently.
Even with the recent technological revolution, no one has really figured out how to get things written without having individuals do the writing. Whether it’s a dissertation, article, business plan, book, or any other document, someone has to sit down at a keyboard and pound it out. And sooner or later, almost everyone has to do it. Although, most writers need copyediting help.
And most people know how to more or less write. Or they believe they do.
But, if a writing job is to be professional, even the best writer is going to need the services of an editor. Sure, you can submit your dissertation or article, bring your business plan to the board, or send that book manuscript off to a book agent or publisher without the help of an editor. And it may do ok. But more likely, it will end up not being received with nearly the delight, enthusiasm, and accolades you pictured.
When You Need Copyediting Help
Because everybody is writing something. And you are not the only one pitching a business plan or a book manuscript. You want your writing to stand out from the rest. You do not want it delegated to that dark place that typo-laden, poorly structured, badly edited documents go. When you submit your writing it has to shine from the others manuscripts that have already been reviewed.
If you want your writing noticed, copyediting is the key to success.
How to get that help is the issue. You can have your friend the English major look it over – he may know what he’s doing. He may not.
The best bet is to seek out the services of a professional editor. Someone who knows every nuance, every rule word usage, sentence structure, fact checking — you name it. Someone who knows when to use an en dash instead of an em dash.
Do you really want to entrust your dissertation, business plan or book to anyone less than a professional?
Okay, okay. You know how to write. But it’s not a sign of weakness to seek copyediting help, it’s a sign that you want your document to be as professional as possible. Because professionally edited writing is the writing that stands out from the crowd.
Who Needs Copyediting Help?
Even the best writers need copyediting help. There is no other way to ensure that your writing will be as professional as possible. In all the how-tos concerning good, professional writing having your work copyedited by a professional is one of the things at the top of the list.
Writing is one of those functions where talent and skill must combine for a professionally completed product. The creativity, talent, and imagination can only come from the writer. Some writers even think it’s a little crass to worry about the technical aspects – punctuation, grammar, editing. But those things, in the long run, are almost as important as the writing itself.
Reveal your writing project’s genius. Give it a second glance. How do you make sure this glance is long and fruitful? Good, professional copyediting.
When a manuscript or paper or story or business plan is sloppy, you lose its genius. Many readers won’t go past the first couple of paragraphs.
Presenting yourself as a professional is one of the most important steps toward success as a writer. Offering a professional product is the best way to establish that you are a professional author.
It does not diminish you as a writer to ask for copyediting help. Writers of every caliber use it.
All sorts of things can slip by when an author is concentrating on the writing – not only punctuation and grammar but misspellings, sentence structure issues, voice, verb tense. And now with spell check, there is the frequent error of the wrong word being spelled right.
Copyediting basics include looking at everything, from the most mundane punctuation issues to word usage and sentence structure. A professional copyedit can also include an overview of voice, point of view, and even formatting.
While some of those issues are more in-depth than others, they all come under the umbrella of the core needs of a writer looking to polish her manuscript or any other writing project. Because the fewer issues the document has, the longer look its target will take.
No writer should submit a project without some final review. Editing is one of the universal truths in the how to become a professional writer handbook.
Just as you wouldn’t wear ragged jeans and a t-shirt to a job interview, you also wouldn’t walk into that interview room without giving yourself a once-over by taking a look in the mirror and making sure there’s no cream cheese on your lip. You survey your clothing to make sure it’s free of crumbs and coffee stains.
Look at a professional copyedit as that once-over. Catching the crumbs and spills you may not, so that when you present your writing, it makes the professional impression that you desire.
Writing isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be a writer. Having that professional eye help you with your final review makes it a little easier. And in the end, you will have a product that is not only successful but one you can brag about.
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