Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4 Tips to Better Self-Editing and Writing

Countless forums and questions I've received by email ( show that I am not the only one who has this problem. Sometimes the errors are in emails or worst, a PowerPoint presentation. Sadly, I've often found errors in my blog posts too. Let's face it, self-editing (editing one's own writing) is not easy... or is it?

Applying the following basic tips and tricks should improve your basic self-editing skills.

1. Finish Writing
Finish writing your... email, or whatever it is you're writing. Don't try to make every sentence perfect. Just write. Say what you want to say and then go through and perfect it.

2. Read Aloud
Read it aloud. Pretend your friend is next to you and read it to him or her. No, mouthing the words isn't good enough and who cares if the girl in cubicle 3 is annoyed. You're not going to send any mistake-riddled emails to your client.

If you find an error, fix it and start reading from the beginning of that paragraph to ensure that your writing flows. If you can, read it all through (aloud) again at the end.

3. Print It and Put It Down
Print it on paper and put it down. We often find errors when work is seen on a different format. Let some time pass then check your work again. These two strategies help a lot. Do it even if you only have 5 minutes to spare. Rushed work often shows and we tend not to see errors the first time around.

4. Get Help
Having a coworker or friend gloss over your work can't hurt if your material isn't confidential. Do not depend on Microsoft Word. Also, there is software available to further help you out. If you are self-employed, perhaps you could try finding something to help. A Google search turned up this video below. Check it out and do your own search to find out what may be best for you.


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