Holloway House

Do you need an editor?

An editor makes your final work product the best it can be. The editor ensures your work is not only correct in its punctuation, spelling, and word use, but that it also communicates the message you intend. It is also the editor’s responsibility to retain your voice and style. This is key to an editor’s success. If we are good at it, we let the fire show through the smoke.

Why we need editors today more than ever.

In today’s world of real-time communication—the immediacy of emails, blogs, tweets and IMs—it might seem that correct grammar and punctuation are passé and, to some, irrelevant. Are we giving up clarity for speed? The faster we communicate, the less time we devote to ensuring that what we are writing communicates as we intend. But, with fewer words, choosing the ones that best express your thoughts becomes even more important.

Your readers are used to sound bites and 140-character tweets, and their attention spans are compromised. How do you hold them rapt to your every word? Whether you are blogging, creating a brochure, writing an article or the next great American novel, your challenge as a writer is to communicate in a compelling manner to your audience. Having a good editor at your side lets you focus on your message, knowing your editor will focus on the details.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

It’s easier said than written.

When we speak, we rely on physical cues. We use facial expressions, hand gestures, and even posture to complement our verbal tone, inflection, pauses, and stops.

When we write, we must rely on other, less obvious but no less demonstrative, tools, such as punctuation and word choice. Exclamation points, question marks, commas, ellipses, and em-dashes are our written expressions that deliver our messages the way we intend them to be received.

Writers need editors.

Writers have the ideas, the concepts, the information. You have a message that needs to get to an audience. You may be a creative writer, author, journalist, public relations professional, blogger, or executive. What do you all have in common? The gift of expression. The ability to get your thoughts on paper. What else might you have in common? Blindness. You cannot edit or proofread your own work. You need a second pair of eyes. You need objectivity because often you are too close to your work to assess it fairly. You need someone who can speak on behalf of your readers.

You write because you have a message to deliver. Why put all of your sweat equity into your work, only to have it fall short because you weren’t as clear as you could have been, or you missed a simple typo, misused a word, or made a glaring grammatical mistake? Take heart: embrace the benefits of engaging an editor.