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Get an editor.

While you may be intelligent, witty, grammatically correct and a fine speller, it doesn’t mean you actually make sense in your poems. Another set of eyes will often help find things that our own do not see. Sometimes our own wittiness gets in the way of a poem where a turn of phrase confuses. It may be the most elegant and beautiful string of words that you’ve ever put together in your life, but if it confuses nine out of ten readers as to your meaning, or if it annoys them so they stop reading, it probably is not serving your purposes.

On the other hand, if you know that you are a poor speller or in frequent conflict with the grammar police, it is best to get it corrected by someone who is relatively friendly rather than having a hundred readers see it and be turned away from your work thinking that if what you had to say was worth reading, you would have said it right.

On the third hand, even the most brilliant among us sometimes makes an error while hastily trying to transcribe a poetic phrase from our brains to paper before it leaves us forever. Don’t take the chance that it will go out without another set of eyes looking it over. Computer spell checking programs do not catch everything. Sometimes they let homonyms or typographical errors slip through as long as your errors are also words.

Not everyone has an editor available. The people around you may have no editing skills, and you may not be able to afford to pay for a good editor. At the very least, set the poem aside for a few days and re-read it to see if it still makes sense and that all the words are the write right ones.

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