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The Importance of Editing

‘To write is human, to edit is divine.’ – Stephen King The End.

Congratulations. You did it! You finished writing your manuscript, book, poem, etc.

Naturally, you might start thinking about publishing or printing, but there’s a crucial step that must come first.


Editing can seem daunting, especially when faced with something like a 120,000-word novel, but the truth is, we all edit, all the time.

Think about the last email you sent. I bet you checked it before you hit send. A quick proofread for any obvious mistakes, maybe you even ran it through an online grammar-checker like Grammarly or ProWritingAid.

If you didn’t do either of those, maybe you should start!

What is editing?

The term “Editing” comprises many individual editing processes, but the four most common are development editing, copyediting, line editing, and proofreading.

Each is different and which one you need depends entirely on where you are in the editing process. You can find more information on each of these editing processes in our article, What’s the Difference Between a Development edit, Copy-edit and Proofreading?

There’s also another editing process that’s often overlooked, the self-edit. This is the process of editing your work yourself before sending it to a professional editor or proofreader.

Completing your own self-edit will ensure that your writing is as good as you can make it. It can also help keep your overall editing costs down as you’ll develop new skills as you go.

Why is editing important?

Think about the last film or TV show you watched. Imagine what it would have been like without editing. No rhythm, no pace, and a feature so long you’d lose interest long before you reached the end.

Editing the written word works in exactly the same way. Editing helps develop a rhythm and a pace for your writing that will engage the reader and maintain their interest from start to finish.

Editing also helps you become a better writer. Completing multiple edits, whether self-edits or professional edits, will help you hone your writing craft and skill as you learn which mistakes to avoid and how to deliver your ideas clearly.

As a general rule, the more edits your writing has, the better it will be. One editor won’t catch everything, so the more eyes that read your work, the more mistakes they’ll spot.

So, if you’re looking for help or advice with editing or proofreading your next project, and you need it completed to the highest standard, get in touch to find out how we can help!

Contact us on (0191) 482 5042 or email

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