In menus. In billboards. On signs at the grocery store.
Typos. They’re freaking everywhere. And I can’t help but notice them.
My husband and I used to go to a restaurant where they had “shimp scampi” on the menu. Now, I love shrimp... but because of that typo, I refused to order it. And we don’t go to that restaurant anymore. Not because of the typo... because we moved away. But still.
It's true: everyone needs an editor, including editors! Whether it's because you're strapped for cash and can't hire an editor right now, or because that blog post just can't wait and it needs to go up ASAP... sometimes you need to be your own editor.
If you are in business for yourself, then you need to learn the finesse of editing for yourself. Those blog posts that are brilliant and chock-full of information may or may not be riddled with typos. We get carried along with the muse as we're creating content. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you are not taking the time to review your work before you throw it up online, you are missing an essential step in the process.
5 Tips for When You Need to Be Your Own Editor:
BONUS TIP: Read what you wrote aloud. This circles back to Tip 1 but is an addition on top of it: when reading aloud, your brain is less likely to fill in the words it would if you were reading silently to yourself. From time to time people may catch me at my desk “talking to myself”, but it’s WORTH IT. I have caught many mistakes this way! I hope these tips help you when you need to be your own editor. Please don’t beat yourself up if a typo/wrong word goes up in a blog post, e-mail, or newsletter. No one is perfect!
The biggest tip I can leave you with is this: you are in service to the reader... so your editing should reflect this. If you think something you wrote is confusing, keep your reader in mind: will they think it’s confusing? If the answer is yes, then absolutely make your edits until your thought is clear. Clarity is key!
—Hilary Parry Haggerty