What makes someone want to be an editor?
I don’t know.
How’s that for an impressive opening?
I just know why I enjoy being an editor. And I think I know what makes me a good editor. For me…well, it’s the pleasure in taking a document that contains a good idea or ideas, but needs a little help in organization, perhaps language that is a bit more concise, precise, words that convey things a little more strongly, or more basic things like sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
A document may be the product of an author who really has something to say, but unless he or she says it very well, it will not get the attention it deserves. Some people need no help at all in any of the above areas, but many could use a bit of help in some. When I can provide that kind of assistance—improve the organization, provide words, and sometimes sentences of a little more power, I am being a very good editor. And I just might be helping a very good idea, or series of ideas, gain a lot of public notice. That is the largest reward editing provides for me.
It is singularly rewarding to help a young writer, perhaps a first-time writer get organized, realize the power of just the write word, or a good paragraph written just the right way. It can go a long way to being a positive influence on their subsequent writing.
Those are my most basic thoughts, and the most fundamental reasons I enjoy editing.
I will add to (and sometimes subtract from) this blog on an irregular, but frequent basis. Sometimes it will be about editing, but sometimes it will be a story I want to tell. I hope you can visit once in a while.