How an Editor Punched In My Face

And Why You Need Some Punches Too

Noman Shaikh
2 min readMar 1, 2024
Photo by Ivan Pergasi on Unsplash

A while back one of my old client (and friend) asked me to write a piece for his website.

He has always thought that I was one of the best storytelling writers he has met.

So he gave me the brief, and told he’d need it urgently.

The piece required a lot of research and I got late in the process of submission.

And finally after sending him the document link around midnight, I went to sleep.

One to wake up to 26 comments on the document.

And bunch of messages from him.

Turns out I had messed it up real bad.

I had made a few grammatical mistakes. I had made few sentence formation mistakes. And I had made some mistakes in the flow of the write up.

“Ugh!” It was a disheartening feeling.

Anyway, my client told me that he’ll also have his editor look at it in depth.

And the next day, after editor’s comments and suggestions, it had like 56 mistakes.

It felt terrible.

But this was all my fault.

I know exactly what I should’ve done to avoid this.

Read out loud

When you read out loud you always find the gaps in writing. Mistakes can’t hide inside.

Take a look at it with fresh eyes

I always edit the next day. But this time I was in rush. When you edit the next day, you’re more critical of your work.

Check with the Hemmingway and Grammarly App

I’ve been writing for 4+ years now. I don’t make mistakes. But when I’m on deadline and hurry — I make a lot of typos.

Hemming will help you improve readability.

Grammarly will help you edit out grammatical mistakes.

Anyway, those were the lessons I learned when it comes to editing.

But there’s one big lesson from this whole incident… You must be punched by an editor every few days.

Else you’ll just not improve…

I had invested in two paid writing communities that had helped my with their harsh reviews and it helped me improve so much… but that was 2 years back.

When this editor helped me figure out mistakes — I could feel where I was going wrong.

And I started this lessons learned project after that inspiration.

Note: This story is part of my recent project where I document my learnings. And so this whole project is not about making it perfect. It is about documenting and sharing.



Noman Shaikh

Copywriter & Marketing Consultant | Crazy about psychology and human behaviour | Web: