My column for University Affairs, “Ask Dr. Editor,” has lots of advice on writing effective grant applications. I’ve also published a number of blog posts for Editors Canada, including:
- The Ethics of Online Portfolios: How Should Editors Showcase their Skills and Experience?
- Reflections on Kindness from Early-Career Editors
- How (And Why) I Developed a Digital Tool for My Freelance Clients — And Then Gave It Away for Free
00 | Introduction
I shared a pair of tweets from @LisaPoisso that can be found within this thread, part of Lisa’s discussion of acceptable error rates in editing. Lisa’s Substack is a useful resource and model of high-quality content marketing.
To generate a list of changes made in a Word doc that has tracked changes, click on the “”review” tab, and then on the “reviewing” button (on my screen, this is to the right of the “tracking” button), and, on the left of your screen, you’ll be provided with a short list of your revisions:
However, for the reasons I describe below, these aren’t the kinds of metrics that I usually share with clients.
01 | The Subversive Copy Editor
I learned how to edit from a number of different courses, books, resources, and mentors, but, primarily, I learned to be an editor from Carol Fisher Saller’s excellent The Subversive Copyeditor. Its one of my recommended books for editors. If you’re in the US and you purchase from bookshop.org, I’ll make a small commission; purchasing from bookshop.org rather than from Amazon also helps support your local independent book shops.
02 | Writing Well is Hard
I created writingwellishard.com as a free resource to help people to compare the writing patterns that underlie two different texts. Here are some more details on how the tool works:
I made writingwellishard.com because I’m not persuaded there’s only one way to write well, and I don’t like that the norms of “good” writing are too often white, cis, male, and dead. I want academics to be able to edit their own work strategically and with intentionality, modelling their work on whatever writer or writing they decide is good.
So while, like other digital tools, writingwellishard.com aspires to help you to write clearly, persuasively, and succicently, it also allows you to set the bar as to what constitutes clear, persuasive, succicent, and good for your audience and your context.
I’ve written about this tool for a few different publications, including in my University Affairs column:
- “Writing well is hard: how to write like the best writers in your discipline”
- “Zombie-proof your writing: tips for making the conceptual concrete”
I use writingwellishard.com to get metrics that I include in my letter of editorial notes that I send with each edited document — download my template editorial letter as a Word doc. See also sample editorial letters from The Masters Review, Julie Klein, and Fresh Ink Book Editing; see also “The Art of the Author Memo” by Adrienne Montgomery.
03 | Sales Psychology & Behavioural Insights
Behavioural insights were kickstarted with the publication of Nudge in 2008. Nudge: The Final Edition was published in 2021.
The article “How to nudge drivers to reduce speed: The case of the left-digit effect” is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2021.02.018
The full list of 98 cognitive biases is available at thedecisionlab.com/biases. While their list is substantial, it’s missing the left-digit effect, meaning that it’s an incomplete list–still, its one of the most comprehensive out there.
If you enjoyed today’s presentation, you might also like the course that I’ve developed called “Strategic Marketing for Consultants & Freelancers.” If you’re interested in taking that course, please use this $50 off coupon: QUANTIFYING. I’d also be happy to chat with you about your business practices in one of my free virtual coffees–scroll down to find a time in my calendar.
You might also want to consider signing up for my monthly-ish email newsletter, The Shortlist, because that’s how I’ll tell people when new free and for-pay resources for editors and academics are available: