Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Good editing is a conversation, not a unilateral decision-making dictatorship.

The headline really does say it all, but let me unpack it a bit for you. As you grow into an editor* you learn that a good editor gives feedback and doesn't just make changes. And often if they have feedback, they do have an answer in mind** but realize it's more important for the writer to get there in their own way, because often what they decide is the proper solution is better than what you had in mind in the first place. That's called collaboration.

The hardest part of being a good editor is resisting the urge to "just do it myself."

*Though, really, you can insert any number of positions here. I know my largest strides in this space were made in my past roles as a senior copywriter and then a creative director. My current roles as a writing director at the 9-to-5 and a Senior Editor at Chicagoist have given me a really large pool of very talented writers and designers to really hone my skills in this area.

**You better have an answer in mind because if you don't that means there's no strategy behind your feedback and you're probably just being a jerk. 

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