Author Archives: markp

Why Everyone Needs an Editor

At one of his bill-signing ceremonies, President George Bush said, “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

A lot of the Bush “sayings” were funny in that way: We knew what he meant, but the soundbyte came out meaning something else. Good thing Presidents have editors to help them when putting something in writing!

When something is well written, we usually attribute it to the author. And while good authors do write good stuff, ask any of them if they have a good editor and there’s not a single accomplished writer on the planet who would not confess that there is a special someone behind the scenes who makes them look better than they ever would look without their trusted editor.

Jeremy Greenfield, creator of Digital Book World warns authors: “There’s no way that one person can do everything necessary to properly and effectively publish a book.”

Greenfield goes on to say, “Don’t go it alone. There are self-publishing advocates who will tell you that you can do it all yourself.” According to literary agent Jason Allen Ashlock, do-it-all-yourself not a good idea. “None of us goes it alone,” he said. “Publishing is a team sport. Allies, alliances, and partners are more vital than ever.”

And having a professional editor is a key factor. Yeah, you’ve written it twice already and had your sister or mother read it too. You think it’s ready to publish, or at least ready to send to a publisher. Not so fast!

The problem we all face as writers is that we are passionate about our words and we “live” with our story for so long, we can no longer see it objectively. We can’t come to the pages the way other readers—readers who are not friends or relations—will perceive what we have written.

You need an editor. An editor can objectively identify gaping holes or subtle errors you may have left. They will see things you never see because the story or piece you have written is so familiar, your brain, may skip over important facts or add dumb stuff that takes the reader down an unnecessary “bunny trail.”

Do you have an editor, a professional who is critically looking at your work and your story to make it the best it can possibly be? This is not someone who writes back, “Wow, this looks great!” and moves on. A professional editor helps you hone in on a central idea, points out your manuscript’s weaknesses as well as its strengths, gets what you’re trying to say, and helps you say it better.
Everyone needs an editor.