Ask an Editor: So, Why Don’t You Just Make the Changes for Me?

After explaining how I edit, I’ve been asked, “So, why don’t you just make the changes for me?”

It’s a fair question. When you send me your document, I insert notes where changes should be made. You’ll see, “insert comma,” “capitalize ___,” “change the semicolon to a period,” and “I think you mean ____ instead of ____.”

Would it be faster for me to make these changes myself? Sure! But I don’t. And here’s the number one reason: I don’t just want to make your writing better, I want to make you a better writer.

That doesn’t happen when I make all the changes for you. If I change “Winter” to “winter” or “my Mom and Dad” to “my mom and dad,” you don’t know that “Winter” and “my Mom and Dad” are wrong. I’ve fixed the issue, but you don’t even know it is an issue. Next time you write “I love the Winter snow” you’ll be wrong again, without even knowing it.

It’s your work—your message on paper or screen. I want it to be the best it can be, and to be the best it can be, you need to be the best you can be. You are ultimately responsible for your book. It’s your name on the front cover. You are the writer.

When someone opens your book, I want her to know you’re a really good writer, not that you had a really good editor.

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Do you have a question for me? You can share with the community we’re building on Facebook or leave a comment on this post! I’ll be answering “Ask an Editor” questions once a month on this blog.

Comments

  1. Okay, so I just learned that I am not supposed to capitalize mom and dad. Thanks!! 🙂