Why Every Writer Needs an Editor

Now that I’m an editor at one of my favorite magazines, VegNews, I’m more acutely aware of why every writer needs an editor. As funny and as witty as we are as writers, we make mistakes. We get too insular. We forget that not everyone understands every single thing we write down.

As a freelancer writer, I strive to turn in the best version of an article to my editor. But I’m still going to miss something. A better quote, transitions, even content that a reader needs. When an editor asks for minor or extensive edits, I make myself available and I take my ego out of the equation because the truth is the editor wants your writing to be the best it can be for publication. Heck, he or she isn’t getting my byline, but they want their magazine to be awesome.

I say this because maybe you’re not a magazine writer. You think, how does this even apply to me? It applies to writers because you need someone else to read your work. Whether it’s a screenplay, a sketch, an outline, five pages of a nonfiction novel, you need someone you trust to say hey, this doesn’t make any sense. Or this is what I’m getting.

You need that outside perspective. One of my best working relationships has been with my literary agent, Michelle Andelman. She is brilliant. She tells me when things are working (and she glows about them when they do) and she’s honest when something is dragging my writing down—whether it’s a character, story line, or sections of prose. Every note she gives me is like a little gold nugget.

So, my friends, find your editor. Shower your editor with kindness. And above all else, listen to them.

2 Comments on “Why Every Writer Needs an Editor”

  1. Thank goodness for good editors! I love the idea of useful feedback as little gold nuggets. Each suggestion has the potential to open up a vein of even more value, as often one insight points the way to other important changes.

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