10 Writing and Editing Tips from an Amateur Editor

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

In the midst of the pandemic, I made a lot of impulsive decisions regarding money. More specifically, about how to make money. I wasn’t working and couldn’t go back, but I wanted to contribute to the household expenses in some way, so, lightbulb moment, I thought, why not try to market myself as a freelance editor? I’m a good writer and an even better editor, and it’d be a great way to use my skills while working in an industry that (probably) wouldn’t make me want to step off a bridge.

Not unexpectedly, it failed. Horribly

I didn’t account for the fact that, while I have 20+ years of writing experience, I have zero years of formal editing experience and no degree to back me up. I’m not surprised no one wanted to hire me. I wouldn’t have wanted to hire me. It stings a little, though, because I know I’d be good at it.

Maybe it’s something I can pursue later in my life. For now, I guess I’ll just have to continue giving editing advice for free.

Continue reading “10 Writing and Editing Tips from an Amateur Editor”

5 Often Overlooked Writing Errors

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Before I begin, I just want to say this post is not meant to demean anyone. People make mistakes and that’s okay. Even the best writers throughout history weren’t perfect. My intention for this post is to be more of a teaching tool than anything else.

What right have you to be lecturing us?” you might ask. The truth is, I don’t. As much as I’d love to be a professional editor, I’m not. Not yet. I did, however, ace all my grammar classes, and my writing is typically free of errors. If one does manage to squeeze through, I always go back to edit it.

I’m a perfectionist like that.

So, without further ado, in no particular order, here are five of my biggest pet peeves. They are all accompanied by a short grammar lesson, which you are free to ignore, mock, or use at your discretion.

Continue reading “5 Often Overlooked Writing Errors”

Writing & Editing Tips #1

Let’s talk about brain fog. It’s the pits, right?

Every writer has experienced it at some point. During the writing process, it may manifest as an absence of thought—the fog obscures the next word, the next thought, the next scene. Helplessness sets in and frustration mounts.

If this happens, I suggest walking away for a little while. Stretch, get something to drink, take a shower—some of my best writing breakthroughs have occurred in the shower. Do whatever is needed to clear the mind, to blow the fog away, and return to work feeling settled and, hopefully, motivated.

During the editing phase, brain fog can look a little different. Instead of an absence of words, suddenly there’s too many! Eyes cross and brains melt. Things start to blur together. Separate words lose all meaning, sentences become paragraphs, and paragraphs become even longer paragraphs.

In some ways, I find editing and proofreading to be more frustrating than writing. The words are all there, yes, but making them behave can be tricky. Typos and grammatical errors are especially difficult because they’re so easily missed.

Our eyes become adjusted to seeing the same thing over and over. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve read the same paragraph numerous times and missed a misused homonym or misspelled word because my brain didn’t register it. It’s like they simply faded into the background and ceased to exist.

To counter this, I now change the font type and size whenever I’m ready to proofread something. Doing so has made it easier to catch those pesky typos and punctuation errors. How could it not, when they were staring back at me in font size 18?

Suggested font type? Comic Sans. Annoyance is a great motivator to get work done faster.