Ask most writers, and they’ll likely tell you they’ve worked with some fine editors—and some who were, well, less than fine. Writers quickly learn which editors they enjoy working with, which ones they can trust with words and which they should avoid when deadlines are right around the corner.
A good editor is someone who is easy to approach and talk to about a manuscript or article. A good editor catches gaffes, knows what makes a good story, and has a “yes, we can” attitude. And he or she does it while navigating and “tracking the changes” of an industry in flux.
To find out what tracking change means to members of EAC, the conference committee took to social media to ask them.
According to Rachel Stuckey, a member of the Toronto branch, good editors are not the “stereotypical and conventional grammarians who live to correct and protect the language,” ultimately cutting up a writer’s work just to leave their own mark. Rather, as Gael Spivak of the National Capital Region branch points out, editors should stay on top of the changes in language styles and usage, read constantly to keep up-to-date, and share information with writers and other editors.
The best editors are ones who track changes in the language industry as a whole—“being constantly aware of how the language evolves with editorial standards, trending vocabularies, and industrial and cultural practices,” says Dwain Richardson, a Montreal-based translator and editor, and a member of EAC’s LinkedIn group.
Unlike editors of yesteryear pointing blue pencils on hardcopies, today’s editors must explore and learn how to apply technology to both professional editing and publishing. Why? Because tracking changes means knowing the impact of the Internet, social media, and digitization, and how these developments can influence more than just the way editing is done. Glenna M. Jenkins, a member of the Quebec/Atlantic Canada branch, says that tracking changes establishes a new way to access and service clients and communicate with other editors.
So, what kind of editor do you want to be? And what does tracking change mean to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
And take advantage of this year’s EAC conference, happening in Toronto from June 6 to 8, and learn what tracking change means to experts, clients, other editors, and you!