Found this on 101 Books, one of the blogs I follow, and can’t agree more. In my job as a letters-page editor at a daily newspaper (yes, they still exist!), I often have to deal with writers who think they shouldn’t be edited at all. No amount of explaining that we don’t print anything we know to be false, or that some things won’t pass the breakfast test, or that they only have a limited amount of space can convince them that I did not edit them that way to support my conservative/liberal/communist/Nazi/fill-in-the-blank agenda. Okay, I admit it. I’m evil.
What you’re looking at below is President Obama’s marks on a draft of his inauguration speech written by, presumably, his speechwriter.
A couple of thoughts on this image: It’s a hard copy. I can’t remember the last time I edited on paper or received edits on paper. The track changes feature on Word is my best friend. Also, look at how neat these edits are. I can’t write on a clean sheet of paper that neatly, much less in the narrow margins of a written document.
Finally, if the president’s speechwriter gets edited–and, in turn, the president himself gets edited on his own edits–then we can safely assume that no one is above the need for editing. If you’re a writer, you better have someone edit your work. Period.
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