“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik
How many times have you written something — a report, a blog, an article — and spent hours upon hours on it only to notice the smallest error after you had submitted it? Talk about frustrating!
Written work is something we are proud of and something that can be very important, especially in the workplace.
Writing is a very personal experience, and often it is difficult to see issues when you are so close to the piece.
An editor is a vital person in the process of creating written work, whether it be for print or online. Editors provide a new perspective and make sure your writing is top notch.
Editors (copyeditors to be precise) provide the following tasks:
- check spelling, grammar, and punctuation
- check for inconsistencies
- check citations and ensure they adhere to the standard
- make sure language is consistent (Canadian, American, British, etc.)
- apply editorial style
- identify missing text or copy
- check all URLs, links, and visual material is accurate
This is just a small example of all of the things an editor does. Depending on the job, many more tasks can be taken on. The items on this list may leave you thinking, “Is all of this really necessary? I am not a professional writer by any means!”
These tasks that an editor does are actually vitally important no matter the level of writing. Ensuring that your writing is free from errors, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies raises your written work to a higher standard.
For many people, the thought of having someone edit their work can be nerve wracking. It can feel like your most personal thoughts are being scrutinized. Despite how this may feel, it becomes evident very quickly how beneficial hiring an editor is.
An editor looks at an author’s writing with fresh eyes, and can provide helpful suggestions and advice. The most important thing to know is that editors (the good ones) work with you, not against you.
This is a symbiotic relationship where an editor helps someone create a piece that he or she is proud of. An editor balances the interests of authors and the audience they intend to reach.
So if you have been tossing around the idea of hiring an editor in your mind, I suggest you give it a shot.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how much your work can shine.