by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Write, edit, write, edit, rinse and repeat. That's the norm for a writer. Even so, we can still make mistakes or use some constructive feedback. Whenever possible, it's always good to have a second pair of eyes - preferably a fellow writer. I like to call this person a writing buddy. By looking over each other's work, making suggestions, and correcting minor typos, you can help each other improve. Some clients do not edit your work. There are many clients who expect your work to be a finished product when it's delivered. The least amount of work they have to do before publication the better. Some clients will flat-out reject the work if they have to make corrections. Even if the company you are submitting to has an editor, that doesn't mean you should take advantage of that fact. Have your writing buddy double-check your work to be sure you didn't miss something vital.
A writer should always present clean, publish-ready content. If a client has to spend a great deal of time editing your work, they may as well write the copy themselves. They hired you so they wouldn't have to. Do your best to ensure their work is minimal. Most writing software has grammar and spell-check. But a human eye is still necessary to pick up errors the computer won't. Some typos can be actual words and the spell check is not going to pick up on that. A writing buddy can help make sure you catch all those tiny errors you and spell check might have passed over.
A writing buddy can offer fresh perspective. So you think you covered all the main points in a tightly focused manner? Maybe not. Your writing buddy can suggest extra points you may not have considered. There also may be ways to get your point across in fewer words. When a writer is passionate about a topic, it's easy to ramble without realizing it. A writing buddy can catch those sections and suggest where you should tighten it up.
It's easier to catch other's mistakes than your own. Because people are used to the way they write, frequent mistakes may be missed when proofreading your own work. For instance, if you frequently type 'had' instead of 'has' out of habit, you may not see it when checking for errors. But your writing buddy will likely have different typing habits and may notice it right away.
Learn from each other's styles. Each writer has their own way of getting across their message. They also each have their own preferred topics. Being writing buddies allows each person to learn new facts. By examining another person's writing, you can also learn new styles and techniques you may not have thought of. Ask each other questions and give each other advice often. It helps if you are close friends with your writing buddy because you'll be more likely to listen to each other. But then again, learning together can also bring you close. Who understands a writer better than another writer?
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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