Guest Post by Nikolas Baron: Editing in Red Pen Hurts My Eyes!
I’ve heard this a million times from writers. I hate red pen and editing. I just want someone to do it for me! I’ve stared at this manuscript for too long.
Fear not! With the burst of Internet resources, there are tons of websites and people out there that can help you edit correctly. You can grab a freelancer, a friend, or a trusted source like Grammarly — and you’re already on your way to getting help editing. You just have to know which tools are the right ones and which ones to stay away from.
What Else Can I Use?
Grammarly — The Grammarly website covers everything from style to grammar check. They have question and answer boards that could help you find someone who will edit your work, or you can use the tool itself. Grammarly’s proofreading tool is a comprehensive tool that looks for style, grammar, punctuation, and syntax mistakes while identifying areas where you need improvement. Not only is it fast, but it’s free!
Grammarly also checks your work against eight billion webpages for possible plagiarism. Using Grammarly as a trusted editing source will not only speed up your process but alleviate any editing headaches for you.
Freelancers — With websites like oDesk, Elance, and Mediabistro, it’s easy to find a quality freelancer at an affordable rate. Each site gives you access to millions of freelancers who want to help you achieve your editing goals. oDesk and Elance provide you with fixed-price or hourly contracts while Mediabistro allows you and the freelancer to work out the rates on your own.
You can find someone who’s willing to work for $10 an hour if you’re on a budget or someone who’s edited for twenty years that you’re confident will make your work shine. Either way, you can pass off editing onto someone you trust to do an excellent job. Freelancers are a great way to find a quality professional to help you edit within your means.
Professional Writing or Editing Friend — If you feel like you’re about to pull your hair out and cry because you just can’t read your material again, look for a friend. If you have friends who are professional editors or writers, they’re probably more than willing to help you clean up your work.
I’ve had tons of friends ask me for help on resumes, cover letters, personal statements, essays, reports, basically anything with text longer than a tweet. I also provide services to my friends for free; they’re my friends, duh. But I also know that they’ll recommend me to others who I could possibly turn a profit from. They may even provide their services free of charge or charge you less; a considerable bonus. Additionally, they’ll give you a professional yet honest opinion of your work while finding errors you missed.
Each of these resources will give you access to the editor you need within your budget. When you set up a contract with a freelancer, make sure you set the terms to something you’re both comfortable with. Even with a friend who is editing your work, making it clear you have a two-week deadline is important to getting your work back fast.
About Nikolas Baron
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in elementary school, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after another and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures.