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Do You Do Your Own Editing?

Updated on March 3, 2012

Do you do your own proofreading and editing? I'll be the first to admit that editing is my Achilles heel. Believe me when I tell you, I've learned a lot since I started writing. When I started, I didn't know the difference between your and you're, then and than, their and they're. And as long as I'm being honest, I wouldn't let me edit your work if I paid you for the privilege. Grammar has just never been my thing.

Okay, okay, before we go any further, I'll let you know what inspired me to write this Hub. I got a comment on one of my previous Hubs, it was kinda snotty, and I erased it right away. I won't repeat it, but my grammar was attacked. I would have left it up, but it was by some gutless internet tough guy, probably sitting in his parent's basement, alone on yet another Saturday night. The kind of person who searches the internet for things to trash and only leaves a single letter as their name, because they don't have the stones to leave their name.

I've gotten off topic, sorry, I just needed to get that out. I know I need to work on my grammar; this is nothing new to me. I do get paid to write, what I don't get paid to do, is edit. That is why whatever God there is, invented editors. I've been reamed many times by editors because of the way I write. I compose the way I talk; it may not be the best from a grammatical stand point, but it's the way I do it, so nerts to you.

Again, I've gone of on a tangent and strayed from the topic. What I'm wondering is, is it the writers job to make sure the grammar and technical aspects of the piece are correct, or is it but their job to tell a story?

I once had a publisher tell me that writing was like making a chair, or something like that. He said that unless you were willing to take the time to perfect the art of carpentry, you had no business building furniture. Was he right? Do I have no business writing things for human consumption because I might not always know the correct place for a comma, or when to use a : or a ;. I don't think I should be banned from storytelling because I got D's in English class all throughout my school career. What if I have a learning disability? Should I be forced into a life of ditch-digging because of it, when I may be a brilliant storyteller, who misspelled words and jumbled sentences bring joy to millions of people?

I once go this review of one of my short stories.

"I loved the story, it delivered the action I was looking for and I loved it. There were grammar issues with the story and I found them a little distracting."

I'm not trying to say that grammar isn't important, I get it, it's important, but if you loved the story, is it really that important?

So, I took the long way around, but I guess what I'm wondering is, is grammar really that important? I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who doesn't know what a dangling participle (I doubt I spelled that right) is, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good story.

I'm not advocating anarchy when it comes to editing, but is it really the end-all, be-all that some people think it to be? I'm willing to forgive a missed comma or misused word every once in awhile if the story is good. I once found a spelling mistake in a copy of Salem's Lot, but it didn't ruin the story for me. I didn't slam the book shut and write Stephen King an angry letter.

Again, I'm not advocating anarchy when it comes to grammar, I understand its importance, I'm just wondering if it's more important then the story the words are telling. I'm sure 99% will say it's absolutely paramount, and disagree with me, so let me know what you think. Or am I further ahead to just blame all of this on Twitter and the rise of texting.(Probably should have put a ? there)


I purposely didn't go back and edit any of this Hub, I wrote it once and then published it. I'm sure there are mistakes, and it may not even make sense at some point. I'm just trying to prove that it doesn’t have to be perfect to get my point across, although I may have failed or succeeded; only time will tell.


Since nobody gets paid to edit my Hub, and I do it myself, grammatical errors will probably pop-up again in further work. Hopefully they don't come and take me away in the middle of the night.


I've probably just insured that nobody will ever read naything I write from here on out, but this is something that really bothers me, and I need content so I can get approved by Google. And yes, I know naything is spelled wrong.


I have no idea what P.S stands for. Someone please enlighten me.



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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Roley,

      I feel like I wrote tis hub. I have no education past the age of 14 and I am 45. Needless to say, my English is apparently a form unknown to anyone else. Do you know I get compliments on my writing that I try so hard to communicate a message, as I create an emotion. I write like I talk. Elementary but the message still gets across.

      I'd love to know that jerk that left you that comment. Loser really, glad you ignored him.

      With editing, my editor is my saviour and worth his weight in gold. I just published m first two e books but could not have without him.

      Funny, I am writing a similar hub and thank you for sharing, truly.

      Voted way up


    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      I like your content and I think that you are a good writer, but I must be honest and say that grammatical errors and misspellings are very distracting to me. They take me out of the world that the author is trying to create, and dump me out onto hard concrete every time. If it is just one error every couple of pages, I can stay present in the story, but if I have to contend with more than two grammatical errors or misspellings per page for several pages in a row, I give up rather than continue getting irritated, no matter how good the story.

      By the way, you did spell participle correctly. Trust your instincts; after reading and writing all your life, they are probably better than you think.

    • ROLEARY profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thanks sunburn143, I'll go check it out. I was a bit angry when I wrote this and in my expereince, thats when people are at their most honest.

    • sunbun143 profile image


      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi there...I just wrote a hub on how to "write right" including a list of commonly misused words. I do NOT claim to be perfect and I am totally in favor of writing in your own style to show your personality. HOWEVER, I think A LOT of grammar/spelling mistakes may detract from the flow of whatever you're writing and that could spell doom for the success of your piece. A typo or a mistake here or there, on the other hand, shouldn't matter. That said, thanks for being honest...really good hub for having had zero editing!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think that as a writer you need to create your style and it should stand on its own and speak for itself. If you're able to do that, then things like grammar and punctuation can be overlooked. Nobody would remember Beethoven if he was a great composer of melodies and sucked as an orchestrator. But then again, you have musicians like Robert Johnson and Thelonius Monk who never learned how to read music and they were amazing because their originality came from being a pure, uneducated (or unstained) talent.

      I really enjoyed your hub, mainly because I think you have a very honest and direct approach to speaking your mind. And I think that the beauty of the twenty-first century is that we all have the ability and means to share our voice. Writing is an art that is slowly becoming less concerned with perfection and more linked to reaction from the readers. You're doing a fine job!

      By the way, P.S. stands for Post Script. But P.S.S; P.S.S.S; and P.S.S.S.S don't mean a thing! LOL

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      As a writer, anywhere, I believe high-quality work adds to a writer's credibility. It is my belief that a writer's work should always be proofread before submitting. I repeatedly read my articles over and over (suffer from OCD before submitting. Are they perfect, probably not, but I do make every effort to make sure they are.

      Compared to other hubs I have read (which have more grammatical and spelling errors than one could shake a stick at), your work is excellent. We can all learn from our own mistakes as well as others. Nobody is perfect. Keep up the good work, delete the rude comments, and focus on what you enjoy most, writing!

    • ROLEARY profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Great idea, najordan89. I think I'll try coming back to it later. Part of the problem i think is that I hurry when I should maybe take my time.

    • najordan89 profile image


      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I think editing is an Achilles Heel for most writers... Well, at least is it for me, too. I know my grammar and syntax aren't the best and sure, sometimes my diction sucks too, but at that moment, I have to burst my own ego for a second and realize that not everything I write is pure gold! lol

      I think a good way to go at editing is to write, leave it for a bit (a few days, but for me, it's like a few weeks!) and then come back to it. I'm also involved in a writer's group that gives me ideas and dos and don'ts. I will also never forget a sign hanging in my university's center for writers that says, "Writing is never finished, it is only due."

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Pobody's nerfect! Does that make sense? It proves your point, nobody's perfect. We read to enjoy the story and unless there are really glaring errors we enjoy it. Your writing style will surely carry you through. Hope to see more of you on HubPages.

    • dkm27 profile image


      6 years ago from Chicago

      See, I did it again. The comment should read "are authors WHO have written." "Doe" should be "does." I give up!

    • dkm27 profile image


      6 years ago from Chicago

      Why or why do I just despise editing my work? I think I am so worn out by the time I finish an article, that I just want that sucker submitted. Cormac McCarthy and Frank McCourt are authors that have proven that those punctuation marks do not interfere with the story. The Road and Angela's Ashes are free of quotation marks. The Road doe not have one single apostrophe. I realized that "dont" is just fine without that little mark.

    • Mmiller_89 profile image

      Michael Miller 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Like enunnally said, grammar in fiction writing is subjective, as long as the story reads well. Comma placement is pretty important though, because it tells the reader where to take a pause.

      I think that as a writer, you have to be concerned with your grammar. I don't mean to be snotty by any means, but it's just part of the craft. Thankfully, grammar is all about practice. If you can get ideas down, you're in good shape. I enjoyed reading your Hub!

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 

      6 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Lol! I feel this way sometimes about remembering how to do quotations correctly.

    • enunnally profile image

      Erin Nunnally 

      6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I love this! I'm a writing instructor and always struggle with how much to focus on grammar. It's important in terms of being clear, but there are so many exceptions to rules now that it's often frustrating to encounter a real stickler. Sorry about the negative comment you received! Especially in creative writing, almost anything can go if you have a good reason. So keep on keeping on, friend! Never let a fear of grammar stop your ideas. And when it does matter, enlist the help of a friend. :)

    • ROLEARY profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you , Christian. That is knowledge I will probably retain for at least the next five minutes. Curse you, internet and information whenever I want it, you've robbed me of my ability to learn.

    • profile image

      christian forestell 

      6 years ago

      PS = Post Scriptum, latin for "written after".


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