Can a Writer be a Good Proofreader?

Author: Aditi Syal

Can a Writer be a Good Proofreader?

That thought-provoking piece which you saw on the net today is the result of two very distinct skills that have intermarried. Just writing it is not the end rather, it's the beginning of the story since articles need to be ‘polished’ for it to have an impact.

So, the answer to the question asked in the title itself is, "no, a writer can never be a good proofreader". Writers and proofreaders have unique skill-sets that differ in great margins. At times, these may match, but one set of skills can’t take over the other.

A writer can never be a good proofreader.

It’s a given for proofreaders to possess an excellent command of English. The Attention To Detail (ATD) is the mainstay of a successful proofreader. A writer can have exemplary ATD, but it is not a ‘necessary skill’ to be successful. Articles are generally sent to proofreaders to be polished and improved for better readability and marketability.

"Any write-up will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error." 

-Erin McKean

Writing an article is a lot like falling in love. 

The more you write, and then rewrite the same piece, the more you love the ‘masterpiece’ you have created. For some writers, often it translates into not writing more, but more and more...And, what is the result? Lengthy pieces, long-winded sentences, thoughts running all over the place and the end result – an article that doesn’t inspire much confidence or at best is insipid.

Despite a brilliant writer putting her thoughts on paper, the result is a ‘not so good’ article. It needs the hawk eye of a professional proofreader to make the changes to the piece, make the article crisp and the ‘intended’ message clear to all.

Authors also come with their unique skill-sets.

They may write brilliantly, have good punctuation, decent grammar and yet ‘not’ get the desired results as what the same article would benefit from the ‘added touch’ of a professional proofreader. Hence, writers would always stand in need of proofreaders to polish their pieces and make those better, always!!!

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