Stop. Collaborate and Listen: A New Partner for a Better Product
If you follow me on social media, you know I’ve professed my love for Grammarly—an app that checks not only spelling but also grammar on any platform. It works on social media posts as well as blog posts—and many others too. But it’s not without its limitations.
I am a terrible speller. Always have been. When everyone in second grade was filling up their paper gumball machines with colorful little dots each week for the 100% they received on their spelling tests (and STARS for the bonus points. Shoot me), I was barely getting by with one gumball a month. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a bad student, it’s just spelling has never been my jam (fractions aren’t either, in case you’re wondering).
When it comes to writing, painting a beautiful image with words IS my jam. I absolutely love telling someone’s story in a poetic and meaningful way. Likewise, getting to break down a complex issue into digestible chunks makes my brain happy. For me, the words are far more important than the spelling. But, let’s be real, you can’t have a professional piece of work and have it riddled with errors.
Last month, Grammarly failed to work on several clients’ posts. Of course, I had reviewed the pieces more than once, but when no red or blue underlines appeared, I assumed they were good to go. When the client emailed me with a concerned/slightly annoyed email, I about threw up. Thankfully, nothing had actually been posted yet, and I was able to get everything corrected, but holy shit that does not feel good.
The beauty of owning your own business is that I don’t have a boss to yell at me when something goes wrong. The downside is when you are the boss and you have to yell at yourself. I had two options: wallow in my screw-up and then carry on, or find a better solution. I opted to turn my obstacle into an opportunity. I reached out to Vanessa of Vanessa May Co to discuss copy editing. My big hang-up was timing—while working ahead is ideal, not all of my clients are able or willing to define content topics months in advance. Further, adding one more step to my system felt daunting. BUT! I was pleasantly surprised when talking to Vanessa! She was able to assure me that she had quick turnaround times and a simple system of passing content back and forth.
We’re now a month into the new system and I am in love. Vanessa not only edits for grammar and spelling, but she checks links for validity and content too. What I love most is that she just takes care of the changes—there’s not an endless list of questions or options. I just get a summary of any content updates that she does when she hands back the edited pieces. Vanessa truly ensures a partnership—and that safety net for me is priceless.