Editing and proofreading are a pain in the tuchus. I want to get someone else to read my work. But face it: Most of the time I’ve waited until the last minute. Everyone around me is busy. I have one hour to get this report/blog post/whatever out the door.
Here’s my real-world editing routine, taught to me by a great writer back in 19muttermutter:
- Read the document one paragraph at a time, starting at the end. By doing that, I separate them and force myself to read each one. It ensures I don’t skim over words and phrases I’ve already read lots of times.
- Read the document one sentence at a time, starting at the end.
- Read the document one word at a time, starting at the end.
- Run the document through Hemingway.
- Run the document through Grammarly.
- Read it forwards.
- Verify links. I sometimes use Check My Links, but it’s pretty distracting. Clicking each link works, too.
- Bow three times to the statues of E. B. White and William Strunk, Jr.
- Click publish and hope for the best.
It’s not perfect, but it catches some of the real groaners.
Apply at your own risk.