As promised, today I’m posting the results (through today) from my series of polls for writers. I decided to leave them open for future readers who want to participate, or anyone who’s missed some of them. The settings have been changed so that results will now be displayed after voting. Again, thanks to everyone who took part! I’ll share my own answers as well.
So, what types of projects do my readers need to have edited? It looks like the highest percentage went to essays, meaning that many participants were college students. Fiction book, website and business document tied for the next highest percentage. A fourth of those who took this poll provided their own answers, but they were all different. Answers included “works cited and reference pages” and “flyers, class descriptions for registration purposes”.
I selected website content because that’s what I’m always working on whenever I’m not busy with a job.
Of course, I edit my own website content and blog, but there are times when I look for input from my adult son when it comes to marketing content, formatting or business correspondence. Jordan is an excellent communicator and has been such an inspiration and supportive force in my endeavors.
I was happy to see that some of my ESL (English second language) readers answered my polls. I love working with clients from around the world, and have helped many with their essays or website content through rewording awkward English phrasing and correcting grammar. English is my native language of course; basically, an absolute requirement for this job. I also speak and write some Spanish, and know a very small amount of German and Arabic.
I was surprised that no one added their own answers for the poll about favorite topics to write about. Out of the choices provided, spirituality, adventure, family, animals and romance/relationships all tied for top favorite topics to write about. Food/health, technology, travel, and self-improvement were the next favorite topics. I noticed that no one chose politics as their favorite topic to write about and I definitely agree with that! My favorite topics to write about are self-improvement and adventure.
No one added their own answers for the poll about writing challenges either, which also surprised me. Feedback about challenges you may face when writing is certainly welcome. The top four answers for this poll were divided evenly: originality, subject/plot development, research, and deadlines. None of the other choices were selected as most difficult aspects. I selected originality as the most challenging aspect, in part because it’s often a struggle to come up with a genuinely new idea to write about.
As an editor, my goal is to always provide quality work and do exactly what a client pays me to. Getting appreciative feedback is very rewarding. When I do receive a tip, it is usually because a project took longer than expected, or it was a last-minute rush job. Tips are a pleasant bonus and shows me that my client truly values my skills. If I were to write a book at some point, I would definitely hire an editor to review it and would certainly tip them for providing honest and knowledgeable feedback.
The term ‘outline’ can be a bit intimidating. Basically, though, it’s just a way of writing down ideas for your project to help you communicate and present them the way you want them to be read and understood. Out of the eight choices provided, index card/post-it-note method, reverse outline and other were evenly divided as the types of outlines usually used. I’ve always thought that mindmaps looked clever and creative. But the method I generally use could be classified as a reverse outline.
I start by writing down—not in any order—main ideas, along with side points or specific words and phrases, anything I can think of. Then, I reorganize everything, until I have a plan for how my project will be structured. When it comes to poetry, which I haven’t written in almost a year, there is no process other than simply writing my thoughts as I think them.
So far, poll #4 about favorite writing topics has received more votes than the other polls. Polls #1 (type of document) and #2 (who do you ask for editing help) received the next highest number of votes. I’d love to see more votes in the future for the rest of the polls that didn’t receive as much attention. I haven’t received any suggestions for additional poll questions yet, either. If you have any, let me know in the comments below.