Editors who blog

Quite possibly one of my favourite sessions from the 2013 IPEd national conference, Dr Katy McDevitt AE asks the question ‘Should editors blog?’ As an editor and writer who currently blogs I was surprised at the amount of interest in this session (one: because it was at the end of a very long day, and two: because I assumed that blogging and other online activities were already part of the Editors’ Toolkit). For me it’s not about whether editors should blog, but more about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of blogging.

McDevitt’s tips are simple:

  • Choose your niche, audience and style (tone of voice)
  • Create a regular schedule of posts
  • Create connections with others (guests posts and comments)
  • Use a platform that is best for you

I couldn’t stop myself from nodding in the affirmative when McDevitt says ‘it’s not about the money’. It’s really not. In fact, if editors were paid for the amount of words they typed (and I’m speaking from personal experience here) in addition to the words they read their worlds would be richer. What’s great about editors who blog is that they are proficient at identifying areas of editing, writing or publishing that would benefit from being discussed and they discuss it.

Perhaps the chord that struck the sweetest tune in McDevitt’s presentation was that editors who (want to) blog need to maintain a schedule, and this is where I have been going wrong. As one delegate says via Twitter ‘I started out with a blog schedule … then life got in the way … *sigh*’ (@jasmineleong), but the worst thing you can do is walk away from the schedule completely. Scheduling doesn’t have to be complicated either – a simple Excel spreadsheet and a link to my Outlook calendar is enough to get me back on track.

McDevitt finished by tabling a number of editor blogs already available, which goes to show that we’re a passionate bunch when it comes to the industry and that we also share some similar issues. If you’re an editor with a blog, I’d love to ‘check you out’, so drop me a line and let’s see if we can’t solve the sentence structures of the world.

Thanks Katy!

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Welcome to Pencil First – a small professional writing and editing business.

For more than five years I have worked in the publishing industry – first as a journalist/writer and now as an editor.

I am passionate about writing and editing, and strongly believe individuals and businesses can yield great success through carefully crafted words.

I have worked with organisations looking to build their brand through regular communication with the public, which has included a regular column for a local sporting association, community news for the legal industry and direct marketing material for those in the construction industry working with local government, and editing news and entertainment for a regional street press. I also work with students – editing and proofreading their assignments, giving them a greater understanding and appreciation of basic principles of the English language.

Like Ernest Hemingway, my favourite writing instrument is the pencil. When I start on a project I will always begin with a pencil, carefully constructing sentences and making editorial mark ups, until I am absolutely convinced the work is ready; that it conveys the feeling, place and emotion desired. Pencil First aims to provide quality service. Using the ‘pencil first’ approach gives you greater opportunity to convey everything to the reader, and will ensure your message doesn’t get lost in a jungle of words.