Why We Need Editors: It’s About The Reader, Not The Writer

by Randy Murray on July 8, 2013

I’m closing off this series on why writers need editors with this simple statement: writers need editors when they care about the reader.

Editing isn’t about removing the writers voice, changing their ideas, or making their writing vanilla-flavored. Good editing is about helping the writer to make all of those things WORK. Good editing is meant for the benefit of the reader.

The readers? Remember them? If you write for yourself, if you’re the only one reading what you’ve written, then you can figure out what you meant. But if you’re writing for an audience you will often need help bringing clarity to what you’ve created. It’s very difficult to to that yourself. Even the best writers need someone else, someone with a different set of skills, to examine the work deeply and to help test it and insure that the reader will be able to understand it. Only when you become full of yourself as a writer do you lose sight of the fact that your readers might struggle over your words.

Writing and editing is a partnership. It’s a relationship that at its best grows into trust. And the result can be really powerful, effective writing.

If you care about the reader, if you actually WANT readers, you need to consider working with an editor. If you ever get the opportunity to write for professional publications you’ll work with an editor. Why not start working with one now?


Thanks to Rob Sheehan for making this point on Twitter.

Why We Need Editors: It’s About The Reader, Not The Writer by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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