An Editor is a Writer’s Best Friend

An open letter from an editor to writers everywhere:

Dear Writer,

Like most editors, I’m a writer too. I greatly appreciate the work you put into this. As I edit the piece you submitted, I think of the many hours you put into creating this piece of writing. I know you wrote, re-wrote, spell checked, fact checked and put both heart and head into this before you emailed it. I then use the modern equivalent of the red pen, the dreaded track changes tool, to massage your work.

An editor is like a diamond cutter. I try to take the diamond in the rough you submitted and polish it for maximum brilliance. As editor, I have the best interest of the publication at heart; please know that I’m not making changes to hurt your feelings or to drive you nuts. Please don’t be married to each word you wrote. Understand that articles on a website have a different tone than those in a magazine, which are in turn not the same as a business report or journal article. I know my readers and will apply lessons learned to your article as I edit.

It’s my job to create and apply a consistent style for the medium whether that is our website, blog or magazine. That means I have to enforce our editorial guidelines and style guide. I’m simply creating a consistent look and style to give our readers an enjoyable experience. Please proof-read your writing once just for those picky rules on capitalization, punctuation and our own spelling rules ( we write kickoff and website as one word).

Try to understand that an editor cannot create space on a page so I will have to edit down to meet the space allowed. Our length guidelines are not random, but were developed by using industry best practices and examining analytics from our media properties.

Thanks for listening,
Your Editor

 In my role as the director of marketing and communication for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association I spend a great deal of time editing. I love great writing and mentoring aspiring writers and watching them become great writers.

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5 thoughts on “An Editor is a Writer’s Best Friend

  1. Carol,

    Encouraging words. You are indeed a masterful writer because you keep your readers in clear focus. Thanks for your gentle reminders that make us all better. The HBA is blessed to have you.

  2. Perfect!! You read my mind…..I needed to hear this today. Thank you!! p.s. – the other “like” is me also – I manage “his” website as well. I was logged in to the wrong account. BUT, I liked it so much – it was worth liking this post twice ;). Cheers!

  3. I heartily agree. Throughout my career, I have never published anything, that was not edited to some degree and for the better. Thank goodness for editors everywhere!

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