Have You Thanked Your Editor Today?
I was talking to a friend in the biz just a few minutes ago about some of the experiences he had working as an editor at a very renowned financial website that you would definitely know the name of. Anyway, he was telling me that he’d just had a really interesting conversation with an aspiring author working on a book.
And, in true editorial fashion, he reminded this person that “editors are important and will probably be mean to him. And to be nice to editors, because they have the exceptionally difficult job of saving writers from themselves.”
I’m putting that last part on a pillow.
They Have the Exceptionally Difficult Job of Saving Writers from Themselves
There has been no statement uttered about editors ever, ever, in the entire world that was so on the nose. Not that I’ve done a ton of editing, but I’ve worked with several very closely. And I appreciate everything they do, every day. If I don’t, they will hurt me, so I understand this is a thing I must do.
Eagle Eye, for example, has been vital to the existence of ITC. Other editors have been vital to their own outlets. Editors have taught me; editors have made me weep. Ultimately, though, editors only want what’s best for the copy, the book, the play, the newspaper, and that’s why they are the way they are.
It’s not personal.
Even though it feels like it.
But there’s nothing more accurate than the idea that they save writers from themselves. Sure, you can teach people to write, but if a writer is making bad decisions, the editor is the last line of defense before they shoot that thing out into the world.
God knows you don’t want to see any of that.
I’ve heard of writers who changed the color of their characters’ eyes within the same publication, some that had no decent way of tracking the characters in their books, bringing back dead characters and burying others alive. It’s all quite gruesome.
From a news perspective, your editor is going to make sure you’re not squirreling up the facts, provided there’s still a budget for a copyeditor or something similar.
Have You Hugged Your Editor Today?
Don’t. It’s a trap!
Editorial Makes You Look Better Every Day
No matter what kind of writer you are or hope to be, you need an editor. They can often be procured for a song, relatively speaking, and they do so much more for you than you’ve ever probably considered.
For example, my editor helps the team by:
Checking our writing. Duh. That’s all anybody knows about editorial.
Eliminating passages that make no sense. She’ll kill our darlings before they’ve barely had time to draw breath.
Reorganizing sections to improve content flow. You know how that one paragraph was down at the bottom and now it’s at the top? Yeah, that’s because she knows it’s working better up there.
Parallelism. Eagle Eye uses that word a lot. I keep meaning to look it up… (I kid, I kid)
Formatting. She makes sure that the work we send out looks like what the client wants to get. That’s why we ask you about guidelines and style.
Fact-checking. Most editors also fact-check, which can go a long way to save yer bum. Long ago, there was not really any great way for people or organizations that were being reported on incorrectly to find out, so if you were at a small to mid-sized paper, it wasn’t that big of a deal (unless they were local). You did the best you could and moved along. Today, a Google alert will narc you out every stinking time.
Hey, there’s Mother’s Day and Boss’ Day and Paraprofessional Day, so I say there should be an Editor’s Day. Then kids like my friend’s young writer would really understand how important they are in our lives. They make us look smart.
This year, let’s make every day Editor’s Day! Appreciate your editor every day, right after you’ve mopped up the tears that have resulted from their most recent repair of your work.
HAPPY EDITOR’S DAY! I GOT YOU A CTA!!!
You guys know by now that we write stuff, but did you know that you, too, can borrow a wordsmith and ol’ Eagle Eye for a low, low price? Yes, yes, you can. We’ll need a sample of the work that you want to be repaired and/or edited first, then we’ll get back to you with a timetable, a price sheet and instructions. Every project is different, so we need to be sure we’re prepared for the caliber that you’re bringing.
We’re also still offering a few pretty swanky specials for small businesses and start-ups (and anybody else on a budget!). You can see that stuff here.