Archives for February 2014


Editors Working With Writers—The Power of Mutual Enthusiasm

By Jack Limpert

Bill O’Sullivan recently had five tips for editors on working with writers, and this was my favorite:

2. A compliment goes a long way. After a session of questions, suggestions, and proposed fixes, an  editor might expect to hear the writer say, “I’ll get right on it.” But at least as often the response is “Was there anything you liked about the piece?” It’s amazing how well “nice job” can grease the wheels—better yet, pick out something more specific: maybe the writer’s knack for catchy subheads or an overall strong structure. I’ve received heartfelt thank-you notes for something as simple as that. And because it’s easy to forget, I always make sure to lead with the compliment.”