Working With an Editor Can be Like Going to the Doctor

For some writers, working with an editor is like going to the doctor. The doctor can see that you’re cheating on your diet, you’re drinking too much, and you don’t get any more exercise than a three-toed sloth. And you know that the doctor sees all of that. You don’t have any secrets from your editor, either.

If you have a good editor, you won’t be savaged. You will benefit. You may even find some satisfaction in collaborating with someone who sees what you mean to do, sometimes more clearly than you yourself do, and helps you to get there.

But just as Dorothy Parker is supposed to have said, “I hate writing. I love having written,” you will not love being edited as much as you will having been edited.

—From John McIntyre, an editor at the Baltimore Sun.

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