So you’ve written a magnificent piece of work. You don’t see one single thing wrong with it. Then along comes the dreaded editor. Writing and editing do not need to be like water and oil. You can’t have one without the other. Editing writing is absolutely necessary and should never be overlooked.
In days of old, the image of an editor was some hardnosed, no-nonsense, and maybe even stubborn Type A personality. Often, editors for printed publication were trained in a totally separate realm from writers and journalists.
Online Writing and Editing–a new World
In the world of Internet writing, editing really has taken on a new form. The editors are often paid much less and have just as much, if not more, computer technology to keep in mind as they do the actual communication of an idea, sentence structure, and grammar.
Trust me, I’ve still had some rather grumpy editors in my days of writing online, but for the most part, writers and editors are creating a new world of their own. We have to work together. Things change all the time and new ideas have to be communicated in a productive way that takes some give and take. Many of these
editors have already written for various websites and online media sources and are seasoned writers that can offer a lot of useful information to other writers entering this new frontier.
Internet technology has proven to be the fastest new adoption of technology in history with no signs of slowing down. As a result, writers and editors from various industries have rewritten the rules and standards to fit to a new style of writing online that has yet to be defined completely.
Editing Writing does not mean losing Creativity
Writer’s first concern with having an editor review their writing is usually that a beautiful collection of words will be hacked from their work. But a writer must keep in mind that editing writing is for looking at the work objectively and any changes cannot be taken personally. Easier said than done at times because writers become quite sentimental and involved in their “wordly” creation.
On top of normal janitorial-type editing, your editor should also keep an eye out for keyword placement, good headlines that readers will want to click on, calls to action, and scannability. (The actual form that the writing takes upon first sight is a big deal, if it doesn’t look easy to scan, it will get bounced.)
A respectful relationship between a writer and editor will usually work as smooth as butter, but there are other times when you may be working with a new editor. Depending on what you are charging for your writing, you may allow a couple of edits from the client. This is always a learning experience as the client molds the vision that they have while the writer and editor try to keep things up to the standards that are used for submitting material online.
All Writers Need Editors
Even the very best writers rely on editors to help them enhance their work. It doesn’t matter what kind of writer either. Authors of books, magazine articles, advertisements, blogs, and short stories all benefit from a great editor. A writer may have a compelling story but be unable to convey it properly to the reader. That’s where an editor can make a world of difference.
Not only does an editor help you tell your story (a content editor) but grammar, punctuation, and spelling also must be meticulously checked. Copy editing will take care of all those issues. It is often too easy for common errors to be overlooked when the writer is looking at their work in the grand scheme—not the details. There is nothing worse than reading something and catching errors that copy editing could have fixed. Readers may take their focus from the written narrative to the errors.
Writing and Editing—a Perfect Match
No matter what your skill set or what you are writing about, an editor should be your best friend. Editing writing is their specialty. Keep writing yours. The two together are a match made in heaven.