Many people ask me what an editor does, really. After all, MS Word has spell check, right? So why does someone need to pay for an editor? Lots of writers feel like editors just want to find faults and don’t understand what they were trying to say. But nothing could be further from the truth. Editors see the best that something can be, in structure, grammar, historical accuracy, etc., and when doing his/her job correctly, the writer will feel like s/he has a partner in bringing out that best version for everyone to see. An excellent editor will achieve that without allowing his/her own voice to overwhelm that of the author’s.
I give a hearty thanks to those who recognize the importance and value of editors and copy editors. I hope the NYT management changes their direction on this decision – cutting editorial staff will only breed errors.
“We writers are not in need of a companionable read before someone hits the send button on our articles. We don’t need a stroke and a purr. We want forceful, focused intellects brought to bear on our work.”