Good writing comes from editing, followed by proofreading. Did you know that? Maybe you still hear your grade school teacher's voice nagging you about your split infinitives or dangling participles? All her nagging won't change the fact the real magic happens through editing (then proofreading).
So go crazy.
Make all the errors you want while you hammer out the key messages you need to convey to your audience.
Afterward, take a step back.
Hand your work over to an editor (and then a proofreader 🙂 ) to comb through your writing to find the little things you missed while you focused on the bigger things.
Because you're under pressure to complete your writing project.
Already you've made umpteen million edits, and you're struggling to see whether or not you've caught the typos, transposed any letters, missed a comma, or forgot a paragraph indent. That's what we call "living too close to your work." But, don't worry. It's a sign you care. And so do I.
Let me be your second set of eyes. I'll read everything you write four times.
Backward. (From the end to the beginning.)
Then I send back to you any corrections I find. Sound easy enough?
I'm your test reader.
When you spend intense time thinking about a topic--one you know very well, it's easy to forget that your readers might be learning about the subject for the first time. The points that are crystal clear to you might seem foggy to the reader. In this case, I'm your test reader. I'll read through your writing to let you know if your message is coming through clearly, then I'll note what's not clear to me. Make sense? If you want me to re-cast sentences to help you clarify your message, you can let me know either before or after this point. Deal?
Proofreading Is Different from Editing
I wrote this post to highlight the differences between proofreading and editing. The terms are often used interchangeably. However, proofreading and editing are different skills. Read this post to see how one differs from the other.