I write a lot. You would think that would make me an expert when it comes editing my work. Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth.
When I write, I turn off my internal editor, a skill I learned early on. Therefore, before I share any work it needs a good edit, often several. I find myself too close to the work. I see the content and have a hard time switching my mind to see the punctuation and grammar.
Most of us will turn to Spell Check in Word to edit our work. That’s a good place to start, but I have never found it to be enough. Of course, authors and publishers will tell you to invest in having your work edited by a professional, and I completely agree. This is great if you’re publishing commercially and making a living at it. However, for those of us self-publishing, writing blogs or producing a family history book for the family, the cost of a professional editor is just unrealistic. We have to rely on other means, sometimes that’s a family member or friend. I have a few teacher friends I lean on. But they have lives, so I needed some extra help.
Recently, I decided to invest in grammar software. I felt it would close the gap between Spell Check and a professional editor. I felt the amount of writing I was doing warranted the small investment. I chose Grammarly for Microsoft Office Suite.
I downloaded the program and it quickly and easily integrated with my Microsoft Office programs. It now works with Word and with my email through Outlook to correct grammar and spelling errors. Grammarly watchs for punctuation, sentence structure, style, spelling and grammar. I love that it offers you a thesaurus. If you’re overusing a word, it suggests some alternatives. It will also check your work for plagiarism. You can also choose the kind of document you are writing, such as a blog post, creative non-fiction, essay, report or research results are a few of the options.
I love that Grammarly offers grammar explanations with examples. It becomes a teaching tool. I find myself actually catching my mistakes now before I look at Grammarly for the explanation. Maybe there is hope for me.
If you’re like me and like to write distraction free including turning off that internal editor, you have the option with Grammarly. You can disable Grammarly and write focusing on the content and creativity of a piece. Enable Grammarly and edit away. Grammarly opens in a window alongside your Word document. It does not change your text. It highlights the errors it sees and makes suggestions. It keeps you in control as you decide the changes you wish to make to the document.
Grammarly is a great tool for those who aren’t quite in the position that warrants the price of a professional edit. It’s ideal for bloggers and family history writers. It’s another set of eyes and has become my first line of defense in my editing process.
Grammarly approached me to do this review and offered me a 1-month subscription. I was already a happy user and thrilled to be offering my readers a chance to win a one-month subscription to Grammarly. Fill in the ballot below for a chance to win.