Late Monday night I sat down to edit an article I wrote as a part of a group project for one of my PR classes. As I quickly skimmed over my work I assumed I had done a good job and there wasn’t much need for revision. So, being confident in my writing skills, I gave my work a lackadaisical once-over and assumed that between Microsoft Word’s spell check and myself, everything was fine.
Oh how I was wrong.
A couple hours later I e-mailed my “self-edited” article to one of my fellow group members for her approval, so she could then add my portion to our final project. Much to my dismay she promptly e-mailed me back with several grammatical and AP style corrections to my article. I was shocked how my lack of sincerity while editing lead to so many simple, simple errors. Not only did I feel stupid for turning in a poorly edited paper, but I also felt embarrassed that I didn’t care enough to do it right the first time.
I’m happy to say I have learned my lesson early. Luckily I was just sending it to one of my peers, and was able to properly fix my work before submitting it to my professor. Regardless, it should have never happened. This minor mishap could have cost me my job in the real world. It made me realize just how reliant I have become on technology to do my work for me.
So whether you’re writing a blog, an article, a news release or even an e-mail, it’s crucial that you always proofread and edit your work. After all, the purpose of publishing your work, whether it be in print or somewhere in cyberspace, is to share your thoughts with others and improve the craft of writing. There really is no excuse for people to be lazy authors. If you expect people to read your work and give you feedback on your writing, then you should take the time to perfect it. Editing is an indispensable tool in our field and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It not only gives more value to your work, but it is also just plain courteous to your readers.
Editing may seem like a drag, but it’s one great blessing in disguise.