You Don’t Need an Editor?

“My writing doesn’t need editing by anyone except me. I have a good knowledge of grammar, spelling and construction, I have the plot at my fingertips, and I have the concentration needed to avoid missing silly mistakes.”

Is this valid?

Not really.

One is invariably too close to the story not to see what one expects or wants to see. The number of errors in published books by top authors does illustrate this — and many of these have, in fact, been professionally edited!

It can be a no-win situation: you get carried away by the story, which is good, and you start rushing, which is bad. Or you are bored to tears by the story and start skimming. Or you nit-pick to such an extent, out of boredom, that you miss the overall picture of why it isn’t ‘working’. Or, in picking up one type of error in a paragraph you switch off and miss another type entirely.

Friends/relations as beta-readers can certainly be of great help, and the price is right! However, for something one wants to publish seriously there is no substitute for paying for a professional. If you are as good as you think you are, the quote based on a sample will be very modest, and the result will ensure you will attain the degree of professionalism you would like to show.

As an editor/writer, do I get my own books edited? Answer: most definitely yes.

I am personally happy to produce, without commitment, costing quotes based on a total word count accompanied by a sample of anything from a page to a chapter to a section in length. Just drop me your email address (for deletion) in comments here.

© October 2019 Colonialist
A selection of stages

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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15 Responses to You Don’t Need an Editor?

  1. SueW says:

    I always edit the typos that others have made on my blog. I just wish others would do the same for me. I am shocked when I re-read my published comments. I frequently repeat words or miss out words altogether, yet the original looked fine! It’s as though I read what I think I’ve written and not what is actually on the page! I think my errors are increasing lately which is quite worrying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • colonialist says:

      I think derrickknight would be a trifle miffed if I corrected his comment here, though! 🙂
      Unless one re-reads in a different mode, the tendency to see what one expects to see remains. It needs a conscious effort to switch modes every time,

      Liked by 2 people

      • SueW says:

        I wouldn’t correct deliberate mistakes and yes he would be miffed!

        Sometimes I spot simple spelling mistakes and if I know that the person concerned always makes that spelling error I do not touch it, it’s not my place to correct. On the other hand if I know the person never makes that error I will assume it’s a typo and save their blushes and correct.
        As for my own work I try to work in advance because on the third read through I might just spot my errors.

        I wish I knew why my typing fingers and the brain that provides the words have stopped cooperating with each other, one seems to be working faster than the other and I’m no longer sure which is which!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Leslie,

        Did you purposely end your comment with a comma to see who will spot your typo?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie always poof redds my posts the following morning

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Arkenaten says:

    The only writer that doesn’t need an editor is one who doesn’t write any more, and by this time,it is usually something/someone else doing the ‘editing’ …. and the ‘auditing’!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sartenada says:

    I need editors! 🙂 I blog in English, not my mother tongue, in Spanish, in French and in Portuguese. Every post helps me to learn more and I want to learn more.


  5. disperser says:

    It sounds as if you’re quoting me . . . except I don’t have a good knowledge of grammar, spelling, and construction. (see? I added a comma)

    And, sure, I make up stuff as I go. And, yes, I’m easily sidetracked so silly stuff gets by me. But other than that, you nailed my approach to writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy mid-October to you, Leslie Hyla Winton Noble!

    I have often detected many grammatical mistakes as well as typos whilst reading other people’s blog posts. Occasionally I let them know what I found by leaving them a comment.

    If you have been wondering about or noticing the scant presence of SoundEagle, then please kindly be informed that I have been away from the blogosphere for a long time until quite recently, as a result of having to deal with the daily demands of filial piety and caring duties, as explicated in the post lovingly crafted and published as a special eulogy entitled “Khai & Khim: For Always and Beyond Goodbye”, published at

    May you find this autumn very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing and editing!


    • colonialist says:

      Thank you: and to you!
      Quite often a glaring error jumps out and bites me on the nose when I have pushed the ‘send’ button on one of my own posts or comments. The ones in my own blog I can correct, but it is infuriating that the comments in the blogs of other people are struck there!

      Liked by 2 people

      • disperser says:

        As a rule, I correct commenter’s obvious mistakes. Sometimes, if the error is ambivalent in nature, I ask if the correction I made is OK or not. For minor spelling or other errors, I don’t bother asking.

        Liked by 2 people

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