Monday, December 30, 2013

Why Use an Editor?

In this brave new world of texts and tweets, we have more ways to express ourselves than ever. We can say something serious or silly with a few characters and symbols, all because of the power of the written word.

Despite these new means of communicating, one truth remains: Words only work when they convey your intended message.

Smiley faces and LOLs often fill in those ambiguous gaps in casual correspondence, but what about an end-of-year research paper, a cover letter, or an opus like your first novel? How do you ensure what you wrote mirrors what you meant? That your meaning will be as clear to your recipient as it is to you?

Simple--you use an editor. 

Forget the image of your 7th grade English teacher, Crabby McCrabberson, with her wicked red ink and archaic rules of grammar. She was there to grade you, but your editor is there to help you and has more important concerns than dangling participles and split infinitives.

(Yes, those things exist. No, you don't need to know what they are.)

Whether personal, professional or academic, written work benefits from someone else reviewing it before submission: someone unfamiliar with the writing (like a reader would be) but familiar with how words work (like an editor should be).

I could be that person for you.