01 I will treat you and your words with courtesy and respect.
Many people find it difficult to have their work edited. Sharing your words can bring up feelings of self-doubt or even painful flashbacks to seventh-grade English class. Rest assured, I do not judge the caliber of your humanity based on your words. As I see it, you are one of the brave few who dare take the courageous step to put your ideas on paper.
I will respect your ideas and voice. I won’t override your words just because I might have constructed them differently. Although that doesn’t mean that I won’t make suggestions on how you can improve your clarity, flow, organization—essentially, the effectiveness of your voice. But I will do so with respect and the understanding that ultimately you have the final say about your words.
02 I will explain my edits.
I will explain my edits so you can understand why I made them: a grammar rule, a lapse in logic, clarity to a confusing phrase, or an inconsistency with the rest of the manuscript. I’m not trying to train you to be an editor, but giving you the opportunity to grow as a writer. I will also point out areas that are particularly clear, well-crafted, and poignant. Learning involves not just seeing where you can improve but also seeing where you excel.
03 I will meet your deadlines.
Once we establish a schedule for your project, I will meet your deadlines. Doing so may require you to provide certain materials by a designated time or to answer questions about your intent.
A word about the author-editor relationship
Editors have a bad reputation for being overbearing, disrespectful of authors, and unwilling to compromise. The way I see it, you are hiring me. Why would I want to alienate you? That’s why I chose the name Word Collaborative. I want to work with you, not against you.
That’s not to say that at times I won’t push you to reconsider a suggestion or recommendation. But if I do, I will explain why. You can expect me to ask questions such as, What do you mean by this statement? Will readers understand this term? Can you clarify this sentence?
If I suggest a change or deletion, it is not to offend you but to improve your writing and your ability to communicate with your readers. If you don’t understand an edit or comment, ask. If you disagree, let’s talk about it. Chances are, together we will craft something better than our individual efforts. I’ve been surprised and pleased by this magic countless times.