How Learning to Proofread Can Help You Be a Better Freelance Writer

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Freelance writer sitting on the floor, frowning at his laptop computer.

For freelance writers, spellcheck and grammar checkers are both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they can help you catch small errors that might easily slip through the cracks. However, they can also make it seem like manual proofreading really isn’t necessary. In reality, proofreading can help you tremendously as a writer. It is not all about finding spelling errors or missed commas. Proofreading also helps you deliver highly readable and engaging pieces of content to your customers, every time. It helps you catch mistakes you make frequently, pick up on repetitive patterns in your writing, and think more intentionally about the way you’re putting words together. Why should you consider recommitting to proofreading as a freelance writer? Here are some of the benefits that could help you become a better writer.

Proofreading helps you consider the flow of your work.

Quality writing is about much more than spelling everything correctly and making sure your grammar is impeccable. These things are important, and you can catch those kinds of errors while proofreading. However, proofing also forces you to examine how your work flows to the reader. When you’re proofreading, you will have to consider not just the nuts and bolts, but also things like whether your paragraphs transition smoothly from one to the next and whether your sentence structure contains enough variety. Eventually, you can stop yourself from making these errors as you write. Thus, you will become a more efficient writer.

You will catch small errors that add up to big problems.

When you’re a freelance writer, you don’t often work with an editor. A client may hire you to create the content and expect it to be delivered in a format that is ready to be published. If a client looks over your work and finds lots of small errors, then they may think twice about hiring again in the future. Clients may decide to find another writer or to create the content that they need themselves. They simply don’t have the time to devote to fixing errors that they expected you to catch on your own.

Patterns in your writing will become clear.

Every writer falls into patterns with their work. These patterns can include using the same turn of phrase repeatedly or going back to the same descriptors in piece after piece. Chances are that you are not even aware that you are being repetitive. By proofreading, you can catch these trends. If you don’t identify these patterns in your writing, your content will likely become stale to clients who use you on an ongoing basis. Therefore, you may inadvertently create content for multiple clients with too much overlap. Additionally, in terms of your growth as a writer, catching writing patterns that have become too safe for you and challenging yourself to find new ways to say things will increase your abilities.

Proofreading can increase your confidence in your writing.

For new freelance writers in particular, this point is an important one. If you feel confident about the work that you can do, you won’t hesitate to negotiate to get the pay that you deserve or to put in a pitch for a writing job that involves more responsibility than you have taken on so far. How can you feel confident about your work? One of the best ways is to simply read it. When you read your work, you will remind yourself why you started writing in the first place. It is a great way to fight off imposter’s syndrome as you launch your freelance career. Proofreading will give you the confidence that you’re turning in clean copy but also help you to hear—and like—your voice as a writer. Your increased confidence could be just what you need to get better writing jobs with better pay.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doubling up on your editing efforts, and that is where Writers Work comes in. Our document editing tool has an integrated system that goes beyond spelling and grammar checks to give you important information about tone and audience, so you can be sure your work always matches your customers’ needs. This tool is just one of the ways that we help freelance writers succeed. Explore our community by yourself by starting a 30-day, risk-free trial today.

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