If You’ve Written or Ever Plan to Write a Book
READ THIS ARTICLE!
One of the things I stress in my coaching, speaking, and writing is the importance of STORIES!
Life is all about stories. Specifically, your personal stories! Those stories support points in the body of your presentation.
Your audience won’t usually remember facts and figures.
They will remember STORIES!
“Walking my talk,” I’m going to write a few posts about my personal stories. Experience tells me these will trigger you to find your stories to tell.
My Backstory / Finding an EDITOR
For quite a while, I wrote a regular column for St. Louis Small Business Monthly. The first of each month, when the on-line version appeared, I gave it a cursory look, copied the link, and promoted myself by pasting it into my social media applications.
One month, I decided to read my published article in its entirety. As I read it, I started thinking,
“This is good!”
Further into the column, I thought to myself,
“This is really good.”
At the end of the composition, I realized,
“I didn’t write it this well!”
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At that point, I retrieved my original article, placed it next to the published one, and started to compare the two. I finished my analysis and noted that lots of little edits resulted in a huge difference in the quality of the final product.
At that point, I had to find out what happened to my original article. Ron Amlen is the publisher of Small Business Monthly and I gave him a call. It went like this:
“Ron, Thanks for publishing my articles. I really appreciate the exposure you give me by doing that.”
I then asked, “The latest article of mine you published isn’t the one I wrote. In fact, it’s much better. What happened?”
Ron replied, “I gave to our editor. I give all articles to an editor before publishing them.”
In retrospect, I think I knew periodicals had editors review articles before publication. But until analyzing my original and the published one side-by-side, I had no idea how much value a professional editor could add. I had used editors previously, but mostly for correcting punctuation and spelling errors.
Psychologically, this presented some problems I had a hard time dealing with. I felt somewhat like an idiot. I’m thinking to myself.
- Why didn’t I write it this well the first time?
- I went to college and even though I didn’t take any writing classes, shouldn’t I have known about some of my errors the editor fixed, like tense and punctuation?”
Besides being the publisher, Ron is a friend, and I expressed my concerns to him.
“Wrong, Fred!” he assured me.
“Writing and editing are separate skills. You’re the big picture, idea guy. A great editor will make your work shine and convey the meaning you intended. And they’ll do it in your voice.”
Then Ron told me this story.
“A reporter goes to a baseball game and takes notes throughout. After reviewing and making some changes he calls it into the copy desk at the newspaper. Here, a copy editor reviews and analyzes the notes and writes the feature story. It appears under the byline of the reporter.
That’s the way it is and the audience receives the best information written so they understand it.”
At that point, since I wanted to rewrite one of my books, I asked Ron for the editor’s contact information and called her.
The story I just related is the first thing I told her. I also said, in spite of Ron’s assurances, I felt foolish not knowing more of the specifics about writing and embarrassed for the fixes she had to make.
She picked up that conversation where Ron left off with this question to me:
“Fred, let’s say your car needs some engine work. Do you fix it before bringing it to the mechanic?”
“Of course not,” I answered. I don’t know how to do that.”
“Exactly!” was her response.
The light bulb finally went on and I said, “I GET IT!”
Hiring her was absolutely one of the best decisions of my professional career! Without her help and guidance, which went far beyond punctuation and spelling, my book would not be nearly as good as I know it is.
For a variety of reasons, I’m not printing this amazing editor’s name and contact information.
If my personal story hit a positive note with you, and you’re serious about hiring aa tremendous editor, contact me: Fred @NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com.
Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.
They do this because they know:
Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.
They also know:
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