Repeatedly, I hear people in every industry ask this question. What I really hear behind their words is, “Why should I pay someone to read what we write? We all passed English…mostly.”
For starters, a professional writer or editor is a very different from the woman in the Marketing department who is “pretty good” at catching errors in your company’s materials. I’m “pretty good” at taking care of my car: I can change a tire, change the oil (if I have to), and even change brake pads and drums. Every now and then, I can even diagnose a problem in my car just by the noise. Does this mean I don’t take those four wheels right on in to the mechanic on a regular basis? No, of course not.
I don’t have the tools, the experience, or the knowledge to care for my car like my mechanic does. So I pay him to make sure my car is not just running, but running well, efficiently, and safely.
Aside from the fact that professional editors and writers are just that, professionals, when your team has spent hours creating, changing, and perfecting a document, they start to miss errors. The closer we are to a document, the more likely we are to miss something. This is why even the best of us do not edit our own work. We know exactly what we mean to say, so even if the black ink doesn’t say that, our brains auto-correct the error and we breeze on by.
Just like my mechanic is trained to tell the difference between the umpteen types of whiney noises my car can make, so are professional editors trained to find even the sneakiest errors.
This is why you should hire an editor.
(c) 2016 BJG Consulting, LLC