Why Freelance Writers Should Love Their Editors

Oh, the editor.  He changes things, moves words around, and points out all of the Oxford comma’s you have missed.  Most writers have a love/hate relationship with their editors.  We love the praise when they tell us we did good or hold our hand through a problem.  We hate them when they correct us or change our favorite sentence in an article. Even when you think your editor is being a big meany, here are a few reasons you should love your editor.

Your Editor Makes You a Better Writer

Sometimes it is hard not to get defensive when an editor changes things around.  You meant for it to be that way!  Before you start grumbling about those stupid editors, take a minute to look at what they are saying.  Could you make something more clear by changing the wording a little bit?  Chances are the answer is yes.

A good editor will show you the error of your ways, and then help you fix it.  Staying calm and listening to your editor is essential to growing as a writer. Before you cuss them and call them a big doody head, look at the comments they have written, and try and keep the emotion out of it.  Try to imagine someone else wrote the piece.  Would you agree with the editor?

Editors Make You Look Wonderful

If you are a freelance writer, you are on a deadline.  Sometimes there are parts of an article you just don’t like but don’t have time fix.  This is where an editor can make you shine.  The editor will see the weird sentence you have been fretting about and make suggestions how to fix it.  Many times they even fix them on their own.  So you make your deadline, and your article looks fabulous in the process!

Your Editor Wants You to Improve

I have done some editing work to help me understand the world from the editor’s point of view.  Here is what I learned.  Making a writer better makes an editors job easier.  Editing for new writers is tough but the ones who wanted to improve and took my suggestions made my life so much easier.  It was exciting to see them improve as a writer with each new story and it meant less work for me.

Revising over and over again can put off a deadline and make an editor go blind reading the same story over and over again.  If they can help you improve your writing, they decrease their work load.

Editors are Word Lovers

Just like writers, editors love the written word.  They read a lot of different things both in the course of their career and for their own personal enjoyment.  If you find an editor who loves your genre of writing, they also double as your target audience.  They can tell you when you are too far off the beaten path and when you are right on target.  They will understand technical jargon and turns of phrase common in your industry.

If your editor is going “huh, that doesn’t make sense to me”  chances are, your average reader will think the same thing.

Photo by Geraldine Lewa on Unsplash

You Can Ask Questions

Editors are built in sounding boards for your writing.  You can ask them questions, bounce ideas off them, and get through a bit of writer’s block just by chatting with your editor.  Imagine writing an article and having a question about some odd research you found. You can hit up your editor and ask them if they think it should be included in the article.

If you have been staring at a sentence for an hour and it still looks awful to you, you can send it to your editor and ask them their opinion.

Even When They Are Bad…

Okay, not every editor out there is going to be great. Some are destined to be editors who drive you nuts and don’t care about you or your writing.  Even those editors can help you.  Maybe they don’t care about you, but the harshest critics are our best friends. They can still improve your writing by making you look at it through new eyes.

If you are assigned an editor who you really just can’t get along with, ask for a new one.  If you chose your editor, look at your contract and see how you can get out of it.   If you are constantly finding you can’t work with any editors, it is time to rethink how you look at the editing process.

Editors are there to improve the pieces you submit to them.  Be it an article for a content mill or your first novel.  Your editor is there to help you.  Try to keep your emotions in check and objectively look at the advice they are giving you.

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