Editors can make you or break you. You choose.
You can heed their advice and learn from their savvy wordsmithing. Or, you can grumble over the slashed paragraphs and altered headlines.
An editor’s job is to improve your writing.
From grammar, structure and flow, to adhereing to the client’s guidelines and fact-checking, editors really are out to polish every piece of content they touch.
Yes, us writers tend to be a soft-skinned bunch. We fall in love with words. We agonize over the perfect adjectives (I’m making eyes at you, my dear thesaurus) and play with word flow and rhythm until our writing sings to us. We get caught up in the moment and forget that writing for others means sharing your craft.
You have to allow a team to review, scrutinize, edit and comment on your work.
Over the years I’ve worked with a roller coaster ride of editors. Some were able to finesse my ideas into posts so captivating that I wish they could share a byline with me. Others have pressed the delete button so many times that I think only one or two original sentences were left standing. I felt pummeled. Seeing those pieces published under my name was like a bait and switch. Those weren’t my words.
As you start to work with editors, or if you’ve been collaborating for years, remember they’re there to improve the content. Period. If you want to improve your craft, take note of what they’re doing to your writing and why.
You may disagree with the changes or fall in love with them.
You’ve been hired, or agreed to a partnership, to create something for someone else. You have to be ready for a little give and take. Editing is part of the writing process and you don’t have to like it. But, you do have to accept this step and hope you partner with someone who can match your voice, enhance your style and smooth out the rough edges you didn’t even know existed.