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Why hire an editor?
Because, as Polonius says in Hamlet, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
Most writers don’t do brevity very well, at least not in a first draft, and certainly not with their own work. There is a tendency among writers (myself included) to think that if ten words are good, ten thousand must be better. We pad our work with avalanches of adjectives, pointless stream of consciousness rants, unrealistic dialogue and exhaustive scene descriptions which leave no stone unturned and nothing to the reader’s imagination.
Writers pour their heart and soul into their work, and as a result, become emotionally vested in leaving it intact as originally written. Any suggestion of change becomes a personal affront, an attack on the writer’s value as a human being. The trouble is, writers often can’t see mistakes in their own work, because they are too attached to what they’ve created to look at it with a critical eye.
When that work is made available for sale, potential buyers will not view it with the same level of adoration as the writer – buyers expect quality for their money. Even if you’re giving away your writing for free in order to build an audience, people will still judge your message by how well it is written. Freebies aren’t really free – the reader is paying you in time and attention – commodities many people value more than money.
If your writing is full of misspellings, grammatical errors, badly structured sentences, or just way too many words, you’ll lose more readers than you’ll attract, because they’ll feel like they wasted either their time, or their money, or both by reading your work. Your readers deserve better.
That’s where an editor comes in.
Objectivity. Constructive criticism. Expert advice.
An editor’s job is not to tear the writer’s work apart. An editor’s job is to ensure that the writer puts their best work out, and leaves their worst behind. Editors help writers produce their best work, which translates into larger numbers of happy, devoted readers.
So do your best writing.
Then hire an editor, and watch it get even better.
Do you need an editor for your best work? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk.
I wrote this article as a guest post for Bradley Charbonneau’s excellent lifestyle blog Repossible.
For other samples of my work on a wide variety of topics, please visit my blog.
Do you need a professional writer who can entertain, inform or challenge your audience? Send me an email at email@example.com and I’d be happy to discuss your project.
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