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What I Learned About Writing When I Became An Editor

What I Learned About Writing When I Became An Editor

It’s my first year anniversary at my job. I still remember how scared I was at the start of 2017 because I knew I’d face a lot of things that were new to me. And I was right. There were so many firsts. Still fresh from getting into the groove of things, in my second month on the job, I was sent to cover an event out of town. I met so many people I wouldn’t have otherwise been in the same circle with. I got to produce a video. And there were many, many more.

But more than the things I experienced while on the field, I am happy and proud of what I get to do when I’m at home, writing and molding stories. I’ve realized in the past year that while I may dip my toes into different endeavors, my heart will always belong to storytelling. And I am thankful that I get to do that — plus other things —as part of my day job. In my rather short time on the job, I’ve learned quite a lot. But having been a writer for most of my working (and, well, school) life, transitioning to a life as an editor was rather different. It’s always refreshing to see things from other people’s points of view, and the experience has definitely taught me a few things about writing. Here are the things I picked up.

Be concise

I take advantage of the liberty this space provides and write too many run-on sentences I wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere. But I do concede to the call of conciseness when it comes to editing. You just need to get straight to the point. Be clear about what you want to convey. Make Hemingway proud.

Look at things differently

When you edit, you think of the brand’s voice and the writer’s perspective. It’s a good practice when it comes to looking at things differently. How would your reader interpret your message? The point also applies to how you look at topics. There are so many stories on the internet, so how can you make yours stand out?

Edit, edit, edit

I’m guilty of not doing this for this blog because, as I mentioned, I take advantage of my freedom here. But if there’s one thing I can advise anyone who wants to improve their writing, it’s to edit, edit, edit and edit some more. If you’re unsure of something, wait a bit. Leave it alone and return to it with a fresh mind. Edit. Edit until you’re satisfied with what you’re reading. Edit until you’re proud of it.

There’s always a nice way to say things

This goes two ways. There are better ways to say things. That’s why you need to think about the words you use. Say, when you talk about a foundation, you can’t describe the finish as abundant. It doesn’t make sense.
It also means there’s always a nice way to give criticism. It’s challenging to give comments when you work remotely because some things might get lost in translation. But there is always, always a nice way to say things. And it pays to always, always be kind with your words.
I still don’t know how the year will turn out, but I’m hopeful about learning and creating more.

What are your favorite writing tips?