3 Comments

  1. I read those entires and I don’t think Nick was saying the clear reason writes need editors was distribution. He stated it as one of the many reasons.

    Writers need editors for the simply reason that it’s important to have someone else look at your work. It doesn’t matter how educated you are, or how much experience you might have as an editor, a writer shouldn’t be occupying both roles. There are things you will miss, things you will not see, and pointing out that you have experience as an editor doesn’t change that.

    It’s maybe not as bad as the defendant who represents himself and has a fool for a client, but I can think of no good reason to publish sans editor.

  2. @Ian: for longform writing, I agree. For shortform? Not entirely sure. I certainly agree writers need someone else to look at their work, but for shortform writing, that could be a small support network of beta-readers (I asked a half-dozen people to read my collection before I did anything with it, all colleagues/classmates in my program/people with experience writing and editing). I agree writers need someone to look, but an editor? Not necessarily.

    While I get your analogy to defense/litigation, isn’t the more appropriate music (or the movies)? Jack White produced Icky Thump, and the Coen brothers edit their own movies. So I think it can be done.

    There are always things people don’t see, hence Gaiman’s hypothesis that the first page you open to in any publication of your work will always be the one with the typo.

  3. True enough, Will. I can definitely see your point there, especially regarding those who work in other mediums and edit their own work. It can be done.

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