Four Things You Must Consider Before Asking Friends To Edit Your Work

Your written work is important to you, and it’s likely that you will be deeply connected to your creation. As a writer, though, you know it’s important to receive constructive criticism from others in order to make improvements, and although being told to correct your work may be difficult to do, it’s an important part of the overall process.

Some writers decide to have their friends edit their work. This is a great way to get a pair of fresh eyes on their content and week out any misspellings, grammatical errors or confusing content. But having a friend proof your work can cause tension on your relationship. The following are four things to consider before asking friends to edit your work.

1. Make sure they’re skilled to edit your work.

While any pair of fresh eyes can be a great assistance, it’s always better to choose a friend that is knowledgeable in spelling, grammar and punctuation. While most friends may be able to catch an obvious spelling mistake, only talented friends will be able to warn you about improper grammar or incorrect punctuation. It’s always best to choose another writer friend or at least someone that you know has a quality understanding of the English language.

2. Be specific in your needs.

Sometimes you need someone to peruse your writing and look for only spelling and grammatical errors while other times you need someone to make complete edits about the entire document, including topic, clarity and order. Make sure that you tell your friend exactly what you’re looking for before allowing them to edit your work. This way, if you’re simply looking for someone to spell check, you will not receive a document back with pages full of red pen marks, or vice versa.

3. Make sure they’re willing to handle the responsibility.

Make sure your friend is ready and willing to handle the responsibility of being your editor. Let them know that you want them to be honest, no matter if their edits or suggestions would hurt your feelings. Be sure that they’re okay pointing out all the imperfections they find. If they seem hesitant to do so, or you don’t believe that they’ll be completely honest, you may want to find a new editor.

4. Be willing to accept their edits.

Bottom line is that you have to remember that you’re friends first and writer/editor second. Never allow your friend’s edits of your work get in between your personal relationship.

You cannot be mad at them for finding mistakes or asking you to make changes—this is what you wanted them to do. If they lied to you and said that your work was perfect when it wasn’t, it could hurt your professional career.

Instead, you want to make sure that you don’t hold grudges because they found mistakes in your work, and you want to continue to remain friends after the editing process is over. If you don’t think that you’ll be able to separate their edits from your friendship, then you may want to choose a stranger to edit your work instead.

Facebook Comments