Guest Writers / Pitfalls

Seeing red: Make proofreading pleasant


One of the greatest feelings in writing is finishing a piece. There it is in all its wonderful beauty. After meditating on your success, the daunting feeling of proofreading can cause clouds to creep in. But this does not have to be the case. 


Flickr: Jon Bunting

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If proofreading was always easy, it would not seem so bad. Instead it would seem like an exhilarating chance to improve your writing.

How about some tips for making proofreading pleasant?

Use proofreading software. Many years ago writers had to slave over each sentence and even every word to check for spelling and sentence structure. Then with computers came word processing software. Spell check is great, but its capabilities has continued to evolve. One particularly helpful writing tool is the Hemingway App.

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Divide and conquer. Sometimes sitting down and reading many, many pages of writing just won’t cut it. Divide the page numbers into manageable amounts.

Rope in friends: Still feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of editing your piece? Consider asking fellow writer friends or mentors to assist you in the process.

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Do not expect perfection. Understand that no matter how much you edit certain parts of a piece, your time may be better spent deleting blocks of text. Fret not if you have to rearrange previous expectations.

Try not to dawdle too much. It’ll be much easier to flow through the process rather than dawdle and spend outrageous amounts of time on one part. If the revision is not coming to you, consider highlighting it and coming back later.

So use what’s out there, divide it up, call in help if needed, let your piece evolve and be wise with your time. Proofreading is worth it, and you’ll be glad you have tips to make it flow that much easier.

Susan J. Peck is a freelance writer and student. She is currently writing for and is a contributing writer at Learn more about Susan here.

Susan J. Peck

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