My former title was much shorter but it just didn’t capture the essence of this post. So voila…here are the questions you need to ask yourself before going to an editor and asking for their advice.
For anyone who knows me personally (or even professionally) out there, ask yourself these questions before you come to me with your writing/editing problems.
As for why am I writing this post? I was inspired recently. Plus, I just had to.
Hope you like it.
Did I self-edit?
Despite what you may believe and contrary to popular belief, few editors want to edit an unedited piece of work.
Did I finish what I started?
I’m one of those pesky people who like to edit a finished product. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be complete. Editing something that is half finished or three quarters done makes my job harder and the quality of my feedback a little worse.
How can I improve?
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you become a better writer. Telling your editor areas you struggle in allow them to specifically seek out places you can strengthen your prose.
How can I make my editor’s life easier?
If your editor is going to edit your work, the least you can do is make editing easier for them. If your editor asks you to double space, double space. If they want a printed copy, print it out. If they look like they need a coffee, by all means go purchase them one. Even if they don’t specify for double-space or for a hard copy, it’s usually best to do both. As for the coffee, editors are generous to a fault. Still, a little generosity on both sides goes a long way.
The next time you are about to ask an editor for a gigantic favour, ask yourself the four questions above. If you’re going to disobey the first three, at least consider the last question. If everyone thought like that, the world would be a much better place.