The Editor's Creed - Craft Your Content

The Editor’s Creed

Have you worked with a bad editor before?

One of the first conversations we have with too many clients is that they are apprehensive to hand their writing over to another absolutist who will strip their words. In the past, their editors would rigorously hack their work to pieces, barely leaving a semblance of the original author.

This works well in university writing labs and academic journal offices, but not so well for the conversational and personal nature of online publishing and content marketing.

The Editor’s Creed

When I created Craft Your Content, and began cultivating my our company philosophy, I wanted to make sure that my team felt the same way I did about our clients’ work. That we are here to help make great writing even better.

So I drafted this little memo to my team. An oath, of sorts, that they take (or more appropriately, read; I have not had anyone pledge via video Skype yet….but IDEAS!) when they join our team.

I believe my writers hire me to make their great writing even better. I believe that the voice and vision of the writer is the most important element in any work that I am editing. I will always act as a professionally-trained outside perspective, rather than a grammar tyrant who strips imperfect originality in favor of perfect prose. I believe that educating a writer on their habits and areas for improvement is imperative to their growth. I will offer constructive criticism and always provide explanations whenever I make changes or corrections beyond the general errors and typos. I believe that a writer’s work is an exceptional example of their thoughts, and they have delivered me their best draft. I will provide feedback on what can be improved if I feel they can create a better draft. I will not replace their words with my own. I believe that each piece of writing deserves my complete attention while I am working on it. I will eliminate other sources of distraction and promise to never cut corners or haphazardly edit a writer’s work. I believe that the writer has the final say when it comes to their words. I will challenge their ideas and writing to help them develop more valuable content. I will never do this by demeaning or belittling a writer or their work. I believe in the power of words to share stories, build messaging, expand platforms, convert customers, and even change lives. I will review each piece of work I am assigned by employing this love of language.

Click Image to Enlarge

Originally posted September 15, 2014. – Updated March 24, 2016

About the Author Elisa Doucette

Elisa Doucette is a writer and editor who works with professional writers, entrepreneurs, and brands that want to make their own words even better. She is the Founder of Craft Your Content, and oversees Client Strategy and Writing Coaching. Her own writing has been featured in places like Forbes, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Small Business, and The Huffington Post, among others. She also hosts the Writers' Rough Drafts podcast here on CYC. When she isn't writing, editing, or reading words, she can usually be found at a local pub quiz, deep in a sun salutation, or binging TV shows for concept ideas and laughs.

follow me on: