One of the questions that was asked during the W2I conference was, as a writer/editor do you need to give your work to another writer to edit for you?
Interesting question. Interesting stuff happens at trade shows!
Let me tell a little story to answer that question.
As a child I loved writing essays, and letters too. I loved anything that would require me to write for a long time, loved filling page after page with my not-so-beautiful handwriting. If it was for a test or an exam, I would shoot up my hand after a few minutes and say, “paper”, to the often annoyance of people less inclined to write long epistles. I could write five or six pages while my classmates were struggling to fill two sheets. And I always got high marks; but I wasn’t always top of the class in English language or essay writing. I was very often top, but not always and certainly not often enough for my liking. And I knew why.
I was bedeviled by a reluctance to read my work over. I would write and submit without going through it again to see if I had made a mistake, misspelt a word, or left out a vital point. And I would lose marks because of that. I knew the reason I was losing marks but I continued with my self-sabotaging practice.
Unfortunately when something becomes a habit it is difficult to break and that childhood habit followed me into my writing many years later. I would cring after posting an article because it was only then I would see how many errors there were in it. Yet, I was editing for others and making sure they had error-free documents!
Some of my earlier books have avoidable errors because I was reluctant to give out my work for proper editing. But I have learnt, and I have grown.
No document leaves my hand now until I have checked and cross-checked it several times, and no book of mine gets published until it has been properly edited by someone else.
There are several reasons why an editor needs an editor and soon we will talk about them in my newsletter.
So to answer that question, yes, an editor does need an editor!