Flirting with Disaster: Failure to Edit

I spelled the word “success” wrong.  In an email to an organization I hoped to one day establish a working relationship with.  This was after I spelled the company name wrong.  I can’t decide if I want to cry, yell expletives, or tear my hair out.  The dog barking in the background interrupts my thoughts, and I find that I’m doing all three.

I know what you are probably thinking, “You’re a writer, how could you let that happen??” Well, because just like you, sometimes I am distracted and tired and busy with a million things. And most importantly, I didn’t take a few minutes to edit my work.

That’s the reality, right?  Shit happens, and we make mistakes.  And while that is easy to understand, those mistakes won’t get you very far in your business.  Especially when trying to establish new relationships!

To curb these mistakes, I use editing tools to put a quick “second set of eyes” on my emails. (This is not a sponsored post- just sharing a couple of my favorite tools.) Anyone that has been around the writing game for a while likely knows Grammarly.  Depending on who you talk to, it gets mixed reviews from the absolute gold standard to horse crap.  I personally like it.  But you can’t expect it to edit your work carte blanche.

While Grammarly won’t be particularly useful for someone with years and years of professional experience, it will help nonwriters and newbies with grammar, context, spelling, consistency, etc.  It’s not perfect, but it is a nice tool to run on emails when you are in a hurry!

You can also use Hemmingway or read your work aloud.   I like Hemmingway because it shows me where my writing is unclear, but more than that, reading it on another screen in another format helps you see mistakes in your work.

I think one of the best tools for catching your mistakes is reading your work out loud.  It enables you to go over the words more slowly to look for errors, and your ear will tell you when things don’t sound quite right.

Whatever you use, find a tool that works for you that you can deploy quickly.  The real magic of self-editing tools is that they require you to step back, slow down, and look at your writing from another perspective.  Taking those extra few minutes could make all the difference!






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