Here's the Short Answer
You can certainly do a darned fine start on your own! You can even pass your work around to friends and family for extra eyes. All of this will get you closer to your finished, ready-to-post product. But ultimately, you also get what you pay for.
But I'm Pretty Good with English & Grammar!
Awesome! You'll be able to get your work that much closer to the finish line quicker! We reviewed in No Red Pens the myriad of editors eager to help you with your project. Do you realistically need all of these editors? Nope. Would it be advisable to get at least one proofreader or editor on your team? Admittedly, I'm biased, but I'd advise "yes."
But My Mom (or Aunt Suzy) is An English Teacher!
Fabulous! Family and friends are a great first step to polish things up. But they also love you, are (blessedly) incredibly biased, and think you do amazing work. These aren't particularly critical or fresh eyes for you, especially if you're talking about a project that's really important to you, like a book or new website.
But What CAN I DO on My Own?
Don't worry - you can do plenty on your own! Let's look at some ways you can really improve your own work before you consider hiring someone.
What an amazing tool!
Items to Routinely Check
This is just a start, but you'll get the idea.
A Step Above Word
You may wish to check an amazing program called PerfectIt. It's a proofreading software program. They offer a free trial opportunity for you to run Word docs through for 14 days and a 30-day money back guarantee. It's a very powerful program that saves you a lot of using "Find" in Word. It depends how much you may decide to self-edit for whether you decide to purchase this tool.
A word of caution - it catches many errors but not all. As with Word, you'll find this AI tool won't allow for your voice to necessarily shine through. You really can't beat ultimately working with a human for that final touch.
Can I Edit Myself?
Sure! To an extent. It's always best to have a fresh set of eyes on your project, especially someone who has training in what you're writing and isn't biased to love what you write, no matter what.
It's like asking if you need to hire a lawn service, housekeeper, or mechanic. What are you willing or able to do on your own? Editors and proofreaders are all over the board with rates. You may wish to check a national organization such as the Editorial Freelancers Association for more on average rates to expect and more considerations when hiring an editor or proofreader.
How much do you edit on your own? Are you a whiz with Word or other programs to maximize your time and expenses?
Love to hear your process - leave a comment!