Below is an interview I gave to Audacious Ink conducted by Donna Jolly in May 2009. Granted this is all just my opinion, but I have found these things to work for me. I enjoy her blog and recommend her posts if you are interested in marketing and public relations communications and writing. — Geri
If you write for a living, you’ve been edited. If you are lucky enough to stumble across an editor with real skill and passion, you may have learned something about yourself as a writer. I had the good fortune of working, albeit loosely, with Geri Jeter, an editor who loves editing and is passionate about quality writing. Geri is an old-school type of editor, yet she is generous enough to understand that sometimes marketers just have to start a sentence with “And” or “But” because they want to emphasis a point (she and I had had this conversation, obviously). While she is generous enough to understand, she might not necessarily be proud of you. And that’s why she’s a great editor. But she’s much more. (I couldn’t resist.)
Like most great editors, for the last fifteen years, Geri has had to do double-duty as a writer, as well. She has been responsible for producing written material for publications ranging from a luxury trade quarterly to technical theater magazines, to detailed course material prepared for trade certification. She also is an experienced advertising copywriter and provider of content for websites.
Currently editor and production manager for La Voce News Magazine, a Nevada regional Italian-American magazine, Geri is also the dance and classical performing arts reviewer for the Las Vegas Weekly. In between deadlines, Geri agreed to an interview with AI to discuss her loves and pet peeves and to impart some words of wisdom for writers struggling to get by in the recession.
Audacious Ink: Many writers need to be their own proofreader. What advice do you have for them?
Geri J.: Rule No. 1 in publishing is to never proof your own work. That said, sometimes it is impossible to avoid. In my case, there is no one at the magazine who can function as a proofreader. Although I am a good editor and proofreader, I still find errors in my own work after it is printed.
If there is time (a big if in some cases), put the work aside for a day or two. Then proofread it again. You will be surprised at how much you see when you look at the work after it rests for awhile. However, tight deadlines often make this difficult.
The trick is to know your own skill level — are you really detailed and focused enough to attempt it? If not, do you have other options? I would prefer to have another set of eyes on the work, but it is out of the question for us to hire such a person. So I just have to be extra careful.