Everyone know what a writer does. But what is editing? What does an editor actually do for (or to) your book, article, newsletter? Who needs an editor?
Everyone who writes needs their worked edited — even famous journalists and novelists, says Dan Santow, a former magazine editor and now Edelman PR type. In his new blog, Word Wise, he shed some light on the mysterious subject of editing, including WHY we all need some:
“After all, it’s hard to look at your own work objectively, just as it’s hard to tell if those low-rise jeans look good on you.”
An editor, Santow notes, is basically a dispassionate reader whose goal is to improve your work while leaving it essentially alone. “They’re not out to get you!” he adds reassuringly.
Editors not only correct things like grammar and spelling, but cast a detached professional eye on crucial elements like organization, flow and tone.
“(S/he) looks at the overall document and for ways to improve its style, content, structure and flow by, among other things:
- reorganizing information
- ensuring (or questioning) accuracy
- improving clarity
- enhancing readability.”
Of course the best editing, Santow concludes, “is a collaboration between writer and editor that results in a document of which both are equally proud.”
If you write, or you’re attempting to write, or you’d like to improve your writing, his blog and especially this post, are definitely worth a look. After all, as Dan points out, bloggers may be the last unedited writers around!