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The Editor Within

By Ginny Rogers

The Editor Within

Writing is a passionate expression, isn’t it? You pour out your thoughts, your dreams, your ideas, your hopes, spilling them all out onto paper for the world to see. And then some cheeky editor comes along and shreds your beautiful manuscript, convinced that she knows better than you what is in your very soul. It just tears the heart out of you, right?

Honestly, editors aren’t egotistical jerks who delete your carefully crafted phrases without a second thought, replace random words with a derisive snicker, and make patronizing wisecracks as they barrel through your manuscript correcting grammar and punctuation. At least, not most of them. You may rant and rave when you see a torrent of red ink on your page, or a clutter of strike-throughs and comments in your file. But believe me, we don’t make changes without careful reflection and a good reason.

In general, we are a thoughtful and considerate lot. We care about the English language. We care about precision, clarity, economy, accuracy, and elegance in writing. We care about your ideas and your characters almost as much as you do. That’s why we take such delight in rewording, rephrasing, and rearranging your text.

Our job—the job you pay us for—is to help you express exactly what you want to say, and to say it in the best possible way. Whether you’re writing a short story, a novel, an academic paper, a business letter, or a technical manual, our goal is to make your writing the absolute best it can be. We sit with dictionary, thesaurus, usage books, and style guides at hand as we edit. We query you when we’re not clear on a concept. We agonize over finding just the right word, choosing carefully to make sure it gives precisely the meaning you intend.

And we do all that, putting our hearts and souls into your text, with the full understanding that our name will not show up on the finished project, that any prestige and recognition (and money) go to you, the author. No, editors are not egotistical. Instead we hide behind your name on the front page, secure and happy in the knowledge that we’ve done our best to help you be the best you can be. Because that’s what editors do.

Ginny’s outside perspective frees you to focus on your ideas and follow your inspiration while she takes care of the details.

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