Does Everybody Need an Editor?

September 15th, 2005 by Bob Bly

RH, who has edited a number of my books, recently noted in an e-mail to me, ?Everybody needs an editor!?

Copywriters, magazine writers, newspaper reporters, and book authors published by traditional publishing houses all have editors.

But self-published book authors, e-book authors, e-zine writers, and bloggers usually don?t: what they write goes straight from their PC to the reader, without being vetted by a third party.

I?ve often heard blogging enthusiasts derisively refer to ?edited content? when speaking of traditional publishing.

But is editing bad? I?ve always thought of editing as ?quality control? for the written word. And as a rule, give me good writing over bad any day.

What do you think? Do you prefer having your writing edited? Or left alone?

Would you rather read blogs and other ?unedited? writings? Or magazines and other formats where the text you are reading has passed through an editor?s ?quality inspection??

Share

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2005 at 9:59 am and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

51 responses about “Does Everybody Need an Editor?”

  1. Steve Slaunwhite said:

    I’ve worked with many editors over the years (including you, Bob) and the final product has almost always been better. That’s not to say that EVERYONE needs an editor. But I suspect most people’s published writings would be much better with one.

    (Editor’s note: Clumsy last sentence.)

  2. Adam S. said:

    Edited = better.

    Self-editing is incredibly difficult, even for the most talented writer. If anything, the blogospere only reinforces this point. Out of the x million blogs in existence, 99.9% are utterly unreadable. (And I say this as a devoted blog reader.)

    The 0.1% that rise to the top are generally written by good writers with strong voices and interesting viewpoints who can get by without editing. No doubt the quality of their writing would improve with editing, but the costs (both in time and money) aren’t justified.

  3. Yzabel said:

    I work as technical writer for a small business, and we don’t have any editor, which means I need to do both jobs myself to ensure the quality of our manuals’ content. I must say that I could sure do with another person here, since self-editing is really hard. Does anyone need any? I don’t know, but it’s never a bad thing to get someone else to review your works, I think. One’s own eye is never the best one to edit a text, especially after having had the nose buried in it for weeks or months.

  4. Stan Smith said:

    I’ve always found outside editing helpful – “a fresh pair of eyes.” Editing requires a different mindset than drafting or composing, and even when you as a writer make that mental shift, as you must for any revising, the echoes of your composing still linger in your brain. That makes it easy to miss problems.

    Having someone else read your stuff, even if she isn’t a professional editor, gives a different perspective that’s invaluable.

  5. Yvonne DiVita said:

    Editing is crucial to good writing. Writers who aspire to greatness know that. It’s why today’s author services companies are slowly getting popular — they offer editing, proofreading, and page layout to authors wishing to self-publish. As a writer myself, I am acutely aware of the need for professional editing of my work — I am the worse person to edit or proof my own writing. I’m good, but not good enough for myself. A fresh pair of eyes is always best.

  6. John De Bellis said:

    Bob -

    One of the first things that was hammered into me when starting out in journalism is that everyone needs and editor. This goes for even the top writers at marquee newspapers and magazines in the US and globally.

    Editing is the occupational hazard of writing. And writing is learned craft. We typically don’t write as we speak and speak as we write. That said, in terms of proficiency, some need more and some need less editing depending on writing experience.

    Ultimately, as long as the editing is constructive, and not carried out just for the sake of personal change, I believe and have seen proof that the end result product is indeed better the majority of the time with a good editor.

  7. Richard Leader said:

    Personally, I find it very difficult to be objective when re-reading my own content — and much easier to edit someone else’s copy objectively.
    Also, I find it very difficult to spot typos and errors in my own copy – I think it’s because I know what’s coming when I’m proofing it and thus do it too quickly.

    I often find unedited content – particularly blogs – to be difficult to read because they lack editing.

  8. Mike Stelzner said:

    Hi Bob – Great question. We are conducting an industry survey on writers of white papers and so far the results reveal that slightly more than 30 percent of writers send their work to editor. I think the results of our survey of more than 300 writers reveals a problem in the industry. All the best! – Mike

  9. Sidney Davis said:

    I’ve always had a big problem. EDITORIAL PARANOIA” Even in professional situations. As a result, in hugging my babies to myself for protection, I’ve had to become a better self-editor. Some of that has worked. I think, as in any relationship, the two (or more) have to be in sync. If you find someone like that, sing from South Pacific.. “Once you have found her/him never let her/him go-o-o-o-o.”

  10. Ray Edwards said:

    It probably comes down to a metter of your self-image; if you have a strong self-image, you’re not threatened by the prospect of “being edited”. If you have some deep-seated doubts about yourself, you may find the idea of someone pointing out your “errors” to be unsettling.

    I’d also be quick to point out that some people probably mean something different than what we (writers) mean by “editing”; I have found that some people mistakenly equate “editing” with “censoring”.

  11. earth girl said:

    I totally agree that everyone needs editing, but I prefer to read blogs. Why? I get a wider perspective of an issue, especially with blog comments; it’s more timely; it’s less expensive; it’s quicker; and usually it’s much more human.

  12. Roger said:

    The best in free Insurance information. General or Term insurance.

  13. Keith D Commiskey said:

    If you could get rid of the last 6 spam posts, this is a great discussion topic!

    I personally would like to know if there are any editors out there that would be willing to look at articles prior to publishing. I think it’d be a great online service, and they could charge something like a couple dollars per every 2,000 characters or something. They can even disclaim that they can’t be held liable for errors, omissions, and oversights (to a point).

    I’d be willing to pay $5 or $6 for my current article, which has 5,440 characters. Not that I’m going to, because I’d like to get my article out today, but I’m sure it won’t be my last one (I get the urge to write one about every 6 months or so).

    Online editing anyone?

    Keith D Commiskey
    http://www.kdcinfo.com/ – Web Development
    http://giftsforyou.biz/ – Crystal Figurines

  14. black porn movie clip said:

    black porn movie clip

    black porn movie clip

  15. boys with blonde hair said:

    boys with blonde hair

    boys with blonde hair

  16. hunky gay black dick said:

    hunky gay black dick

    hunky gay black dick

  17. big black dicks fucking little white moms downloads for said:

    big black dicks fucking little white moms downloads for

    big black dicks fucking little white moms downloads for

  18. girl in uniforms said:

    girl in uniforms

    girl in uniforms

  19. Miki Doswell said:

    I genuinely appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I identified it on Bing. You have created my day! Thx once more

  20. Casey Tufte said:

    Hmmm, I’m not positive I should put this info on a public webblog like here, but you guys should definitely go to http://instantweeklyprofit.com and see Anthony teach another guy how to make almost *$2K A DAY* live on television. I’ve been a long time follower of this blog and I’ve never said much, so I wanted to share something that worked for me and is helping me earn a little over $3,000 a month very part-time. Also, make sure you send me a message after registering on http://instantweeklyprofit.com (do this immediately), I’ll help you get started.

  21. taIcheSpootte said:

    Britain Pm David Cameron, when it comes to Chicago, il, suggested: “We now take over to email an exceptionally clean subject matter that will (all the Traditional) people today ( blank ) there’s an easy determination, determine election to stay in any ruskies while using the commitments you earn, and, if you ever vote an execllent, you might be efficiently voting to recover from.” michael kors purses
    Pm Najib Mikati attempt to quell this building trepidation. “The federal is resolute to keep at it towards shoulder joint it is nation’s requirements in the middle of the following critical time frame with Lebanon along with the area, and will also get all of the precautions essential preserve city piece,Half inch he stated in a very affirmation.Quite a few military got out connected with Akkar to circumvent concerns right from increasing, security measures origins in addition to consumers says. michael kors outlet canada
    Utilizing authorized campaigning stopping with Monday, fireworks crumbled at night discuss and even fire flames flared out of the leading of one’s stage mainly because Mursi arrived to address the target audience of several thousand harvested within main Cairo, beyond Abdeen construction http://www.michaelkorsforcanada.com

  22. Enepayempitty said:

    Toutes les Fed liés à est devenu tous les trois ans. Chacun de nos a montré lundi que la majorité des très bien à la retour à ayant la valeur nette telle que actuellement effondrement rrn l’, spécifiquement a entraîné une baisse des valeurs d’origine. ray ban new wayfarer pas cher
    Parmi les familles qui qui peut très logements en propriété, toutes les enquête de la Fed trouve que très nette de leur maison médian a diminué de à la suite de $ 95.300 à l’intérieur de 2007 pour vous assurer d’ $ 55,000 port ayant 2010, autre baisse de la entre 42,3 pour cent. Home Equity est est considéré comme notre propre maison idées pratiques sur la façon où sont à votre . ray ban wayfarer pas cher
    Notre propre Fed trouve qui est chaque spécifique proportion de de tout entre familles porteuses l’actuel solde est tombé à pour vous aider à 39,4 pour cent apparaissant dans ayant 2010. Quels experts affirment doit avoir été était vraiment en baisse de 6,7 points de pourcentage reçue de 2007. Parmi les familles tout en ayant une nouvelle solde de carte de crédit, a solde médian est tombé au moyen d’ $ 3.100 tout le 2007 sujet 2600 $ présent dans ayant 2010, le nouveau à propos entre 16,1 pour cent.
    http://oakleyfrance.webnode.fr

  23. destin tattoo shops said:

    obviously like your website however you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth however I’ll definitely come back again.

  24. hospitality uniforms said:

    It’s the best time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I may I desire to suggest you few fascinating issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles regarding this article. I wish to learn more issues approximately it!

  25. Zola Putzier said:

    We’re going to try to fix the mailing address/billing address thing.

  26. PlayersBlueprint.com said:

    I have recently started a site, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “Her grandmother, as she gets older, is not fading but rather becoming more concentrated.” by Paulette Bates Alden.

  27. iconnect-media.com said:

    You have noted very interesting points ! ps nice site. “Never take the advice of someone who has not had your kind of trouble.” by Sydney J. Harris.

  28. Rayford Baynard said:

    I absolutely love your blog.. Great colors &
    theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back
    as I’m hoping to create my own personal website and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!

  29. visitors for $1 said:

    I believe this is one of the such a lot significant information for me. And i am satisfied reading your article. But wanna observation on some general issues, The web site taste is wonderful, the articles is in point of fact nice :D. Just right job, cheers.

  30. Creola Tobert said:

    I?m impressed, I need to say. Actually not often do I encounter a weblog that?s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the difficulty is one thing that not sufficient individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very blissful that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for one thing referring to this.

  31. Click On this page said:

    This is a terrific web site, will you be involved in doing an interview about just how you designed it? If so e-mail me!

  32. Wypo?yczalnia samochodów w Gda?sku said:

    developer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  33. Antonio Confer said:

    That is the best weblog for anybody who wants to find out about this topic. You realize a lot its almost laborious to argue with you (not that I actually would needHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

  34. Krystina Rathmell said:

    Souls in theFantastic Early morning, I just stopped in to go to your internet site and thought I would say I liked myself. Waves

  35. Emory Cicero said:

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Kudos

  36. Yung Longhini said:

    cheap car insurance in springfield missouri

  37. Mike Smethers said:

    I was just looking for this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative sites in top of the list. Generally the top websites are full of garbage.

  38. where to get prom dresses said:

    Some sort of chaplet really should be labeled based on the admeasurement in the knee. ,return to tiffany heart necklace,Should pay a attenuate guitar’s neck, realize find chains or even chokers. Examples of these are attenuate in aspect and additionally go along with adorableness within your extended attenuate spine.

  39. Zachary Postema said:

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find anyone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with just a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  40. Luigi Odon said:

    There are some interesting time limits in this article but I don?t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  41. Minh Abundis said:

    Wonderful website. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks in your effort!

  42. Johanne Hua said:

    Definitely, Apple’s mobile application hold captures using a distance. It’s a large choice of all types involving software as opposed to a somewhat distressing array of some regarding Microsoft zune. ‘microsoft’ has policies, specifically in this field of matches, however , I am not sure I might plan to solution on the long term issue facet is important to you. Ipod is often a more effective option in that case.

  43. Jimmie Espinel said:

    Good post. I be taught one thing more difficult on completely different blogs everyday. It’s going to at all times be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and observe somewhat one thing from their store. I?d want to make use of some with the content material on my weblog whether or not you don?t mind. Natually I?ll provide you with a hyperlink in your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Hilda Totman said:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  45. 6pm coupon code 10 said:

    Thanks to the auspicious writeup. It in actuality was when a leisure account it. Seem complicated to additional additional agreeable from you! Nevertheless, how can we hold up a correspondence?

  46. seo services new zealand said:

    I love what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve you guys to my blogroll.

  47. Serrapeptase Benefits said:

    It’s laborious to search out knowledgeable people on this matter, but you sound like you realize what you’re talking about! Thanks

  48. Job interview tips said:

    Make sure that all of the first points of connection with prospective
    employers are proper. As to your email, would you make use of an expert handle?

    If perhaps not, now could be the time to assume a far more person name.
    Prevent usernames including language, mis-spellings and bad words.

    If you are buying job to produce weekly targets It is great.
    Create a routine and goal to get a particular quantity of job
    search activities regular. This is going to allow it to be easier that you remain organized and it will increase your likelihood of occurring more job interviews.

    Whether there are any problems you’ll generally be
    asked. Concerns regarding the environment, sort of work to be completed and other things
    you will need to understand should be expected.

    Update your style every five years to remain present.
    Your stylist can help you find a functional and professional manner
    for your occupation.

  49. http://robotdcocina.com/ said:

    Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your website in web explorer,
    may check this? IE nonetheless is the market chief and a good section of people will pass over your magnificent
    writing because of this problem.

  50. Herman Besarra said:

    Yet a different deliver is especially that video betting has become one of the all-time most focal forms of fun for people of all ages. Kids enjoy videocassette games, and adults do, too. The XBox 360 is among the preferred sports event systems for countless who adore to have hundreds of activities presented to them, and too who comparable to experiment with aware with people each and every one ended the world. Many recognition for sharing your opinions.

  51. original site said:

    I’m curious which blogging and site-building platform you might be using? I’m new to blogging and have been thinking about using the Vox platform. Do you consider this is a good foundation to start with? I would be extremely thankful if I could ask you some questions through email so I can learn a bit more before getting started. When you have some free time, please contact me at: my mail. Thank you

Leave a Reply