No More Excuses: Find An Editing Partner

by Randy Murray on July 2, 2013

If you are working within a business and you are focusing on content marketing, one of the key roles that you are likely missing, the very thing that may limit your success, is good editing. If you are an individual who wants to be a writer and grow an audience, a good editing partner can and will help you to grow your readership faster and with more confidence.

Let’s play out a little thought experiment. Imagine yourself back in 1925. You want to write and publish. I, a benevolent millionaire (the billionaire of the 1920′s) offer you access to a printing press. I’ll pay for typesetting, printing, and world-wide distribution. I’ll pay for anything that you need. I believe in you.

You have an outlet for your writing. You can put your newspaper or magazine on newsstands everywhere. People will read your work, will know your name. Your time has come.

Are you going to say, “the hell with editing, let’s just get this thing out there!”?

No. You’d hire not just one editor, but an entire publishing staff. I’m paying, so why wouldn’t you?

Today you don’t need a benevolent billionaire. With the most basic of tools you have access to systems that will allow you to publish with little to no cost and reach a worldwide audience.

And that, my friends, is why we are drowning in crap. Anyone can spew out a few ideas and hit “Publish!”

If you want to become a better writer and publish something that is not crap, you need an editing partner. I am not willing to accept the old excuses:

  • “I don’t know anyone who can edit my work.” You’re on the Internet. Reach out and connect with someone, perhaps another writer with whom you’ll exchange editing services.
  • “I can’t afford to pay an editor.” Are you a business or are you developing something that you will sell or collect advertising revenues from? Then editing is a business expense. The increased quality will more than pay for itself. The lack of quality will definitely hurt your credibility and ultimate reach.
  • “I don’t need an editor.” Yes, you do. You’re deluding yourself if you think that you can toss off something and publish without editing and have your work be consistently good. You’ll waste time making simple corrections and you’ll lose readers because of the lack of clarity in your writing.
  • “No one will read this, anyway.” With that attitude they certainly won’t. Why are you even publishing?

Writers grow through editing and criticism. I require less editing today than I did a few years ago, but, like a professional musician who still practices daily, I look at editing as part of my my practice, the way that I keep a keen focus on my skills. I need editing to help me stay sharp. I lean on my editor, Penny, so I can test ideas, some of which end up cut out or reworked.

Wake up. Writing isn’t a lonely profession, at least if your goal is both writing AND publishing. Editing is part of the process that gets you from the first draft to something worthy of publishing. It’s not a sign of weakness if you need an editor. It’s a sign of maturity.


The No More Excuses: Find An Editing Partner by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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