Re: Self-editing

Subject: Re: Self-editing
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2014 20:10:56 -0500

Don't I wish.

This job used to have seven writers and a supervisor. One was really a database number cruncher who took parts and ECNs and put all the numbers into a program we could access and also produced product bulletins. One converted drawings on one system to work on the other, including tagging the part number callouts so they were live links. These went into the parts database and into the manuals. One concentrated on parts manuals, three on writing operators, maintenance, and service manuals, and one filled in wherever he was needed. We don't know what the supervisor did all day, other than play with databases.

The one converting drawings wanted more work writing, and it turned out he was an excellent editor, so we started using him to edit as much as possible, as we really needed it. The pace left a lot of things wrong and he was a blessing for the work.

Then we were hit with layoffs and it became three of us. One does parts manuals, the supervisor, and I do the operator, maintenance, and service manuals on my own. The supervisor has since found another job and left. There is an old story about alligators and swamps that is appropriate.

I am trying to edit all the legacy work and my new material and I am finding LOTS of problems in the legacy material from the others and not so much in mine. I've looked at mine so often, unless it is bright red in 36 pt font, I won't see it.

Most writing jobs were self-editing. If they went too long, the editing became terrible. A week long project it wasn't bad, but a couple of months had it to the point most of us could find nothing. we tried peer editing as much as possible, but schedules didn't allow as much as we needed.

One job about 10 years ago had dedicated editors in one department. It was good and bad. They picked up a lot of errors and that was good. They would often rewrite and then it didn't mean the same as the language of the audience (software) as they tried to get it into regular English. So there was occasionally issues, but overall, it helped a lot.

Most jobs before that were frequently small to very small writing groups and did not have editors. You had to edit your own, and again, if the project ran too long, the editing went downhill.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Hamilton" <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2014 3:57 PM
Subject: Self-editing

I'm writing an article about editing, and I'm curious about what the folks on this list think about the state of editing in the corporate world today.

I'm interested in any thoughts you have, but in particular, I have two questions:

1) Is your work edited by a dedicated editor?

2) If not, what strategies do you use to either peer-edit or self-edit your work?

Best regards,
Richard Hamilton
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net

Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help |


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @


Self-editing: From: Richard Hamilton

Previous by Author: Re: How do I do this [Word 2010]?
Next by Author: Re: How do I do this [Word 2010]?
Previous by Thread: Re: Self-editing
Next by Thread: RE: Self-editing

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads