Having an editor at your side is not a magic bullet for your writing, but it’s pretty darn close. After all, an editor can

  • Coach you through the process of writing important documents such as college and graduate school application essays
  • Evaluate your novel before you tackle the next draft
  • Prepare your memoir for an agent or publisher
  • Polish your prose before you self publish
  • Help you pass the muster with your dissertation committee
  • Proofread your journal article before you send it off to be reviewed

Can your best friend, mother, favorite uncle, boss, and/or sweetheart do all that? They might be smart, special, beautiful, and irreplaceable; however, they can’t hold a candle to an editor if what you need is a wordsmith, writing coach, grammarian, and cheerleader—all in one person.

Editors are a rare breed—neurotic about getting the details right; passionate about fresh, real language; keenly aware of organizational problems; and utterly devoted to making sure their clients say what they mean.

Mary Johnston, the founder of Wordworks, is neither a Renaissance woman nor a Jill of all trades. She’s not crafty, she’s a terrible tennis player, and her children often don’t like her cooking. But she’s a knock-your-socks-off editor. She doesn’t just correct mistakes; she teaches you how to make the next draft better and roots for you in the best and the bleakest of times.