THE EDITING ESSENTIALS BLOG

How The Editing Toolkit can help your writing

How The Editing Toolkit can help your writing

We all feel differently about business writing  –​ for some of us it’s a pleasure to sit down and let the words flow, but for others it’s a painful process involving long periods of staring into space followed by muttering and frantic crossing out, perhaps even the odd expletive.

But however you feel about it, writing may be a necessary part of your job. When writing for your clients, it’s vital that your message is compelling, consistent and, most of all, clear.

Whatever type of writer you are, you’ll benefit from using the tools in my Editing Toolkit for Business.

In this article I’ll look at four types of writer and how using my Editing Toolkit can improve your business writing, whichever category you fall into.

1 The confident writer

The idea of somebody changing so much as a comma of your writing makes you shudder. You’ve been told you’re a good writer and you were always strong in English at school.

You enjoy writing and are happy that you can produce clear, compelling text which is pretty error-free. You’re confident you can catch any errors yourself.

How the toolkit can help your business writing

Use the Toolkit’s Jargon Buster to help you avoid ‘business speak’ and identify where you could use simpler, more direct language to get your message across. If you are confident and writing from a position of knowledge or expertise, your readers (perhaps they are potential clients or customers) may be unfamiliar with the language or terminology you use.

The Toolkit’s Proofreading Checklist supports you with a systematic approach to reviewing your writing to maximise catching those pesky errors. You can be too close to your work, and your familiarity with your writing can mean that you see what you want to, rather than what is actually there. This is why we can read and reread something several times until we are convinced it’s perfect, only for someone to pounce on a glaring error within seconds of looking at it.

2 The nervous writer

You get off to a good start, writing as you speak and letting the words flow onto the page, but you’re worried about making mistakes with punctuation, spelling and grammar. You waste time second-guessing yourself about what is and isn’t correct and agonise over hitting the ‘publish’ button.

How the toolkit can help your business writing

For those of you nervous about showing the world your writing, knowing that you have the tools to help you edit and proofread your work allows you to write naturally, the way you would speak. There are several items in the Toolkit that will be especially useful for you.

The SPAG Master ebook explains common spelling, punctuation and grammar problems so you can be confident your apostrophes are in the right place and your ellipses don’t have more dots than they need!

The Confused and Misused ebook guides you through the words that we most commonly confuse with others, or misuse in our writing.

The Proofreading Checklist will also help you to work efficiently when reviewing your writing.

3 The reluctant writer

Writing just isn’t your thing, and you spend so long trying to wrestle the words on the page that you lose all perspective and everything looks wrong.

Perhaps you have lots of ideas for your content swirling in your head, but the gap between your thoughts and getting them down in writing feels an impossible one to bridge.

How the toolkit can help your business writing

A reluctant writer whose message gets tied in knots can benefit from guidance on how to structure their writing. If you find that your message is unclear or confusing then there’s every chance your reader won’t get the message either.

The Toolkit’s Scope and Sequence Template will help you identify the purpose, content and structure of your writing, to make sure it achieves the outcomes you want.

4 The time-starved writer

You’re almost always under pressure – you’re writing to tight deadlines and just want to get the damn thing out there and be done with it as quickly as possible. You do your best in the time you have, but you’re constantly worried that you’ve missed something.

You just hope that no one notices or minds that you’ve made mistakes, but you worry that your business isn’t showing itself at its best because your content can be inconsistent and is likely to contain errors.

How the toolkit can help your business writing

A poorly proofed report, brochure, blog post or website (or one that has not been proofed at all) will reflect badly on you and your company. Regardless of what you are saying, the reader will be distracted by errors and may even see a lack of attention to detail in your copy as evidence of sloppiness in other areas of your business. Attention to spelling and grammar conventions, and consistency when using capitals, hyphens and numbers, gives your writing a professional, polished finish. Thorough proofreading eliminates errors to give your writing – and therefore your business – credibility.

The Toolkit’s Style Guide Template will help you to build a reference document that details your preferences for a variety of style and formatting choices. For example: when there are spelling variations; how you prefer to present numbers, dates and times; which words should and shouldn’t be capitalised or hyphenated or italicised; how you prefer to use abbreviations and acronyms; jargon or buzzwords to avoid, and so on.

By creating your own house style guide, whether you are a sole trader or a company with many employees, you create clarity and save time by making these decisions once and having them recorded where anyone who is writing for you can refer to them. No more repeated discussions on whether or not you should put that hyphen in co-ordinate, or trying to remember what you decided last time it came up!

As with our other writers, the Toolkit’s Proofreading Checklist and SPAG Master and Confused and Misused ebooks will support you with a systemised proofreading method, easy access to quick, clear guidance on spelling, punctuation, grammar and word choice.

You shouldn’t rely on your colleagues having the time or skills to check your writing

Why you need The Editing Toolkit for Business

  • You may feel that it’s enough to have a colleague or friend who looks over your content. But are they always available when you need them? Are you confident in their ability to assess and improve your spelling, grammar, punctuation, layout, consistency and overall message? 
  • By using the Toolkit you won’t have to ask friends and colleagues to take time out from their work to deal with yours – there’s only so much goodwill you can rely on, and eventually it just might run out.
  • Using the tools that professional editors use saves you time. You can take a systematic and structured approach to writing and reviewing your content, which is a more efficient use of your time.
  • ​Aim higher than good enough. Using the Toolkit to shape and polish your work makes sure that you give your readers a clear, error-free message. 

A summary of what’s included in The Editing Toolkit for Business

  • Proofreading Checklist
  • Jargon Buster
  • SPAG Master ebook
  • Confused and Misused ebook
  • Style Guide template
  • Scope and Sequence template
  • Keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet

How do I get The Editing Toolkit for Business?

The Editing Toolkit for Business will be available in January 2022.

You can sign up to The Editor’s Note to get advance notice and an exclusive discount when the Toolkit is launched.

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