Re: Editing, Smediting

Subject: Re: Editing, Smediting
From: Don Smith <dsmith -at- ACCESSBEYOND -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 13:29:59 EST

Hi, Lisa -

You wrote: "I am having an awful experience coming face to face with
the fact that I am editing disabled. Design, Format, Conception - I'm
your writer! Have me read what I wrote for missed words,
inconsistencies, and the grammatical errors - No way."

Well, let me say this, *almost* everyone is "editing disabled" when it
comes to checking their own work. Notice I said "checking", not
rewriting, etc. It is not real hard to rewrite sentences and clarify
statements, improve phrases, etc. From what you wrote, I am assuming
that what you really mean is checking for all the other little gizmos
that make us all look bad. (Spell, dilexia, caps/no caps, wrong tense,
wrong "2", etc.

The best advice is bribe someone else (almost anyone else!) to read
you stuff and look for anything wrong they can find. Tell them you
will check their stuff, if they'll check yours.

Assuming that is not possible, then follow the advice others have
already given you about setting it aside as long as possible, then
look at it again. (Many things will jump out at you. You'll be
surprised.)

It's tough to find your own problems because you see the page saying
what you want it to say, not what it actually "says"!

One summer I took several college "editing" courses to help my
editing. Want to know what I accomplished? Wasted money on two courses
and much time. (I did meet some nice editing types and shared
problems, however.)

Your problem is everyone's problem these days as we are pushed more
and more to be "Writer/Editor"!

Hang in there, Lisa, your not alone.

MOO

Don Smith
Sr. Tech Writer
Access Beyond


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Editing, Smediting
Author: "Lisa A. Miller" <lisamil -at- ZEUS -dot- ANET-STL -dot- COM> at INTERNET
Date: 4/17/97 10:36 AM


TECHWR-Lers

I am having an awful experience coming face to face with the fact that I am
editing disabled. Design, Format, Conception - I'm your writer! Have me
read what I wrote for missed words, inconsistencies, and the grammatical
errors - No way.

Here's the situation - huge reference manual (350 pages - personal high on
number count) - lot's o' fields to doc - lot's of redundancy built into the
doc so each chapter/section functions independently - Writer who doesn't
find missed words, some missed field definitions, titles don't match
paragraph references, etc. Conceptually, it covers a lot of ground. In the
details, you've got problems.

My friends, you have given me great information about UW and about how many
machines it takes to document a system (both topics whose answers I have
yet to compile and repost). Now, I ask for your worst editing disaster and
what you did to fix the problems for that project, and how you changed your
process to overcome the underlying issues.

I am pretty much just spiraling into the abyss with self doubt and no
answers. Please shed some light on what you do to ensure editing quality.
Tell me your answers to editing. How do you do it? Thanks.


Lisa Miller
lisamil -at- zeus -dot- anet-stl -dot- com

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