Many times in the creative process we can stifle our inner muse if we try to edit too soon. If in addition to enjoying creating new things, you are also a perfectionist, the NEED to fix things as you write or compose or create can become overwhelming. The need to correct and fix seems to inhibit the forward motion of completion because we can ALWAYS improve what was just created.
The best writers recommend not making any edits prior to finishing a first draft. Get the words on the paper and finish before you begin thinking about all the things you've done wrong - spelling, grammar, and plot included.
This is easier said than done! The desire to fix as we write stymies our creative process. Waiting to edit until the creation is complete is valuable advice for not only the writer, but the composer, the scupltor, etc. Once the work is complete, you can then begin the editing process. Really the editing process is extensive and requires numerous pass throughs.
As a writer there are a variety of things meant by "editing." Are you wanting proofreading? or are you going for a little more comprehensive edit for spelling and grammar errors and need a Copy Edit. Do you need a more thorough viewpoint with a line edit? The folks at New York Book Editors wrote a great article on the differences between a copy edit and a line edit. You can read more here: https://nybookeditors.com/2015/01/copyediting-vs-line-editing/
There's also developmental editing which digs into characters, pacing and more. You can read more on that here : http://victoriamixon.com/editing-terminology/
As you can see there are multiple edits, and many editors would likely include more types of editing with greater nuances of what they entail. Finding a good editor is key to landing not only an agent to represent your work but also that elusive book deal!
I like to start with grammar and spelling reviews with MS Word. I then run my writing through the paces with other software programs like Grammarly and ProWriting Aid. I have really enjoyed the ProWriting Aid over the last month. They offer a free two week trial, but my favorite feature is not only receiving the punctuation and spelling help, they also grade sentences on ease of reading, style, and length of sentences. Another important feature is the ability to change my audience. Am I writing to business professionals or is it perhaps a more casual "conversation tone?"
Because the edits have proven so helpful I have converted to a paying customer. If you would like to know more - just click below to start a free trial.
If you do decide you like the software that's fantastic. This link actually allows me to receive a small commission on a sale at no additional cost to you.
That being said. A real live person can always do a final edit much more accurately than a program can. You can clean up a lot of errors this way, but a real life reader and an experienced editor can then take that clean copy and polish it further. Always take it to the next step so that you can produce the best work you possibly can each time!