So You Need an Editor

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In communications we love words the way Groundskeeping loves landscaping, the way Technical Services loves a reliable septic tank, the way Housekeeping loves perfectly prepared rooms, the way Maintenance loves a pig proof fence. In fact, we love words so much it can be a little weird sometimes.

When your work is ready for the editorial process, there’s no need to be afraid or to feel small. The writing process is all about vision and revision, and there are three traditional stages.

Writing—which means revising the thoughts in your head onto the paper, then revising what you wrote before you show it to someone.

Editing—which means letting someone else revise what you wrote, perhaps working with a friendly Communications editor who will suggest revisions and identify places where your ideas could be more clear.

Proofing—which means reviewing your draft for typos and nonstandard punctuation right before publication.

That’s the process.

It’s worth remembering too that none of us are perfect. Writers can sometimes forget to serve their audience. Proof readers can read over mistakes and typos. And sometimes editors (like me) can have a bad day. We make boneheaded suggestions. We miss some philosophical nuance. We imagine the wrong audience for a piece.

When we get confusing submissions, we ask about it. When you get confusing editorial feedback, you should ask about it too. Leave a comment in Word or Gdocs. Send an email. Make a phone call. Take your editor out for coffee–especially take your editor to Pax for some good cold brew if your editor is named Marcus.

The more we are in conversation together, the better we can channel your voice to your audience.