According to many of my clients, writing is one of the hardest things in the world. They spend some time staring at a blank monitor and blinking cursor, they space out, they regain consciousness and curse to themselves, at how difficult it can be just to get their thoughts on paper.
Even editors need editors sometimes, so there is no shame in giving in. Others can see our work more easily than we can, since they're not emotionally connected to the material, as well as the journey it took to get there.
The first sign that you need an editor is that you are increasingly frustrated with writing. If you become bored, stare out the window, get angry or just stop caring about what you're doing, chances are you need someone to help you focus your work and your energy.
Of course, we love to work one-on-one with our clients, if they need help, or provide input over the phone. But if you're in a jam, Write Express StyleWriter can get your documents looking and sounding professional. By running your work through this software add-on, you'll find any passages that commit common usage and style errors, and save your editor tons of time. That can translate into getting the job done, or not in some cases.
Another indispensable tool any writer should have is Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do. Editor Gerald Gross gets down to the nitty-gritty by compiling a series of essays by editors at publishing houses large and small. Clearing up any misunderstandings now may save you a ton of time and aggravation now, so check this one out!
Writing workshops can help struggling writers out, as they begin to “hear" their mistakes read out loud. I find that listening to books on tape, CD or podcast really helps in this area, too. Training your ear to hear clunky grammar, beautiful sentence construction or dangling participles is really strengthened by a trip to iAmplify, where you can find downloads on everything from astrology to gaming, golf to weight loss. You might learn something, and your “ear" will thank you later.
Lastly, you know you need an editor when you have simply come to the end of the road. Writers talk about writers block as if it's a curse, but some don't even believe it exists. Allowing ourselves the time we need, for rest, sleep, proper diet, and vacations (are you listening, workaholics?) helps to cultivate creativity. We can't force ourselves to write, paint or play music on a certain time schedule, so we shouldn't try. Instead, your Inner Creative Person may need time to simply be. Vacations are a must. Even if you're on a tight budget, Priceline can get you out of Dodge, quickly and easily. Add a car and hotel online, and you're off. Who knows? Maybe the characters for your next novel are waiting at the very next stop.
Copyright 2006 GrammarGods.com
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Alyson Mead is founder of http://www.GrammarGods.com She is an award-winning writer who began her career as a book editor in New York, working for companies such as Scholastic, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, Glencoe, Steck-Vaughn, Silver Burdett & Ginn, Prentice-Hall and others. In her eighteen-year career, she has published hundreds of freelance articles for companies such as Salon, AOL, MSN-NBC, New York Daily News, In These Times and many more. She has ghostwritten and co-authored numerous book projects for celebrity, memoir and self-help clients, and her book proposals, speeches and presentations have resulted in significantly increased business for them. She has helped clients hone their work, get agency representation, sell projects in both film and print media, and structure media platforms to increase their sales potential.