In our line of work, we do a whole lot of writing. A lot. It could be a two-paragraph memo to a client, a long and detailed proposal, a 50-page communications plan, or an annual report. In a busy week, it can be all of those things.
And every single time, I am extremely grateful for my colleagues who act as reviewers and editors. I have been writing for many years, and every time I complete a document or project, I send it to a colleague for review.
And guess what happens? The piece comes back stronger and more professional.
An editor is not a “nice to have” or “if I have time” they are a crucial part of the writing process.
A good editor will check your grammar, correct usage and spelling errors (even those that our beloved spell-check doesn’t catch), but will notice if you are inconsistent with tense, using passive voice when you really should not, or using phrases repeatedly and/or redundantly.
Just as importantly, an editor will help you clarify thoughts. Especially in business and public relations writing, we are frequently trying to convey ideas that may be unfamiliar to the reader. While you may think your point is clear, a good editor will ensure you hit the mark.
Having an editor will also check the overall message and flow of the piece. Whether it is 1000 words or 50,000 words. I was editing a very long manual recently, and a last-minute addition included a new paragraph. After and reviewing the best place for this to go, I discovered that adding two sentences to the right paragraph, in the right place, more appropriately covered the topic. That is what a good editor can do.
Sometimes as a writer, I find myself over-explaining concepts or ideas. I do this when I write a particular type of document. My Anthology colleagues do a great job of pulling this back and making sure the writing is at the appropriate level for the audience – highly strategic or more specific and tactical.
When you are writing something, whether it is an internal document for staff, client material, media, or something else, make sure you set aside time for a trusted editor to review and provide feedback. You will not regret it.
And yes, I had my colleague edit this.