Let's be honest. Writing is hard, and to say it's not uncommon to struggle with grammar, punctuation, and other aspects of the craft is a major understatement.
Yet, these elements of correctness and style are crucial to enabling readers to understand your message. It can even make or break your ability to get your work published.
If this scares you, you're not alone. You might be thinking, "How am I going to do this? I don't even know if this is any good, and even if it is, I don't know anything about grammar?"
If you're finding it difficult to refine your writing or feel like you're out of your depth with the finer points of style, it may be time to consider hiring an editor.
Here are four signs that you could benefit from hiring an editor or investing in professional editing services.
You’re Struggling with Structure or Organization
If you're feeling stuck with your current draft, it might be time to hire a developmental editor. This type of editor looks at your early drafts and helps you get to the heart of what you want to say.
If you write fiction, your editor might help you with characterization or building the events of the plot. If you're writing poetry, your editor might examine things like line structure, imagery, or word choice. Memoirists might receive feedback on the details they use to build the story of a personal experience.
Regardless, developmental editing is a great tool to find direction with a project that is just getting off the ground.
You’re Worried About Messing Up Your Grammar or Punctuation
If you find yourself constantly second-guessing your use of commas, struggling with subject-verb agreement, or unsure about when to use a semicolon, it may be time to hire an editor. A professional editor can help you identify and correct common grammar and punctuation mistakes, ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and error-free.
But it's not just about making your work correct and readable. Editors can also pinpoint habits you have that could distract the reader, including the use of repeated sentence patterns and words. Being aware of these tendencies will make you less likely to introduce them into your work. This can help you feel more confident in your writing and even improve your overall communication skills.
You’re Not Sure Your Writing is Engaging Enough
If you think your writing sounds "boring" or are afraid readers might not care what you have to say in the piece's current form, it may be time to hire an editor. A good editor can help you identify areas where your writing can "pop" more and use language to draw readers in rather than push them away.
This could include using active voice, varying sentence structure, or incorporating more descriptive language. Editors can also help you ensure that your writing is tailored to your audience and achieves the desired impact. If you're not sure whether your writing is hitting the mark, an editor can provide valuable feedback and guidance.
You’re Submitting Your Writing for Publication
It's always important to make sure your work polished and error-free, but if you're submitting your writing for publication, the stakes are immediately higher. Typos or grammatical errors can undermine your credibility and detract from the impact of your message.
Hiring an editor can help you catch these mistakes and ensure that your writing is professional and polished. Additionally, an editor can help you tailor your writing to the specific publication or audience you're targeting, increasing your chances of success.
Interested in Hiring an Editor?
Inkling Creative Strategies offers professional editing help for all stages of the writing process, from developmental editing to line editing to proofreading.
Schedule a complimentary 30-minute Virtual Meetup on Zoom to talk about your editing issues and learn about what we can do to help.