The idea of self-editing can be quite appealing. This is especially true for smaller publishing companies and self-publishers who may be operating on limited funding. But remember, all that glitters isn’t gold. What you save in editing costs may be lost in book sales if readers can’t connect with your story. I’ve seen many books on Amazon with reviews that cite flawed sentence structure, grammatical errors, or confusing plot flow as the reason for a low star rating. And ratings really are everything in the literary game. I’ve been in the writing industry for just over 15 years. In that time I have learned that there are gifted storytellers, amazing writers, and those that are blessed to be both . . . and all of them need an editor. Below are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t edit your own writing.
You Have Attachment Issues
When you create a piece of writing, you become attached to it. It’s your baby, your craft, and your pride and joy. The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” is especially true when it comes to editing your own work. The closer you are to the writing, the harder it is to notice typos, grammatical errors, and plot disconnections.
Unconditional Love Clouds Your Judgement
Like a parent who loves his or her child unconditionally, you love your writing unconditionally, and you should, but this unconditional love could cause you to overlook grammatical and structural issues that need to be revised. You see the potential in your writing, and that vision of potential overshadows any issues that need to be addressed.
Pride and Prejudice Will Get You Every Time
You think you’re awesome, and you likely are, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a little help from professionals. You consult fashion blogs for the latest trends, you read books by money gurus to figure out how to save for retirement, and you look to doctors for help with your health. Why wouldn’t you seek an editor to help you perfect your writing? Seems like a legit choice, right?
Your Creative Process Will Be Interrupted
Hey writer, it’s your job to write! You are tasked with creating literary masterpieces, and you’re amazing at it. You’re the creative talent, but you need some technical fine tuning. Leave the boring, technical stuff to the people who love that kind of thing. If you’re constantly editing your work, your creativity could become stifled. And who would we look to for literary masterpieces then?
You Need to Know Your Role
Think of writing as building a house. You start with an architect who creates an amazing structure. Then a decorator comes in and beautifies the house. An author is an architect and an editor is a decorator. Each plays an important role in the writing process, and you must have both to create a beautiful, finished product. Translation: stay in your lane.
About Amanda Chambers
Amanda Chambers has the experience and know-how to help anyone achieve their self-publishing goals. Her self-published book, Ember's Flame, hit #1 on the African American Erotica list on Amazon and has more than thirty 5-star reviews. A graduate of both East Carolina University and North Carolina Central University with three degrees in English, she is formally trained in writing and can guide aspiring authors to the successful creation and completion of their books. Amanda is the Founder & CEO of Divine Legacy Publishing.