MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Can you read this?

Every writer should have an editor. And I am lucky to say that I too have my editor. A person who I can ask for advice and to whom I can look to for ideas. A person who will be honest about what they think and who will help me improve. A person who I value in every way. The relationship between a writer and an editor should be one of utmost respect and absolute communication, for both need each other in order to produce their best work and to thrive professionally. An editor becomes a writer’s best friend. The person to turn to at any time. The person who you end up calling in the middle of the night with the most frequent question an editor hears “can you read this?” – usually followed by a “please” or an “if you would be as kind” or something of the sort that would indicated courtesy – at least if you’re going to disturb them at the most unusual hours and all the time, you might as well be polite!

An editor becomes an essential tool to writers because, as it is not easy to write, it is not easy to edit either. Writers are often attached to their piece that they often cannot see what to leave out, change or rewrite. That is why editors are needed. They are the external eye, the one that will place all the pieces together. But that is why it is important to have an editor that can enter the writer’s mind at times. That can understand what you are writing and what you mean to say by it. That can even read between the lines and if needed above and beyond them! Jarod Kintz had said that “there are two types of people in this world: those who can edit, and those who can’t”. Editing isn’t an easy job. But with the right kind of collaboration and a descent raw material to start with, it can lead to an excellent result. I used to think writing was easy. But early in my years I found out that not everyone can do it. Indeed some things seem easy, because for us they feel natural. But perhaps that is why writing and editing, just like drawing and painting, are considered talents. Not everyone has them.

Nonetheless, editors have perhaps one of the most criticized jobs. For intruding into the author’s mind, meddling with their thoughts, their creativity, their ideas. And interfering with a product that is simply not their own. But like Henry James said, “in art, economy is always beauty” and in these fast-paced times it seems valid that less is indeed more. I believe a good editor reveals himself from the relationship maintained with the author and the understanding that ensues from this. Like the saying ‘behind every great man is a strong woman’, well, I think this is also true for writing: behind every great author is a really good editor. Even though the latter is left in the shadows. At least they can have the appreciation of being acknowledged once in a while. And I doubt if there is any author who has not learnt at least something constructive from their editor and vice versa.

[An editor] Rides the whirlwind and directs the storm – Joseph Addison


Also part of Daily Prompt: Second Opinion


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2 thoughts on “Can you read this?

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Second Opinion | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  2. “An author without an editor is a car without breaks” Michael Virardi


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