Why I Won’t Learn Anything from Your Edits

Why I Won’t Learn Anything from Your Edits

Every company has a specific way they like to communicate their message through their content. Some are a little more free flowing with it, some have detailed style guides to explain in explicit detail what they’re looking for.

I’ve written content for a variety of companies, and there are some who like to suggest a myriad of edits for their blog posts and ask me to review them.

The unfortunate reality is we’re not going to agree on things like:

  • Whether it’s “barriers to entry” or “barriers for entry” (for me, it will always be the former).
  • Whether to include a “to” in “it helps to bolster your marketing strategy” (I would rephrase entirely, turning it into “it bolsters your marketing strategy” and avoid the “to” altogether).
  • Whether a formula should appear after or before a carriage return (I tend towards the former).
  • Whether to center align or right align an image caption (my default is center). Chances are you will need to adjust your formatting once you’ve copied the content into your content management system anyway.

So, precious time is wasted in Google Docs clicking checkmarks to approve these changes while I could be dedicating more time to pressing deadlines.

The only way I will learn the way you like to write is if you give me specific feedback on why you do things the way you do. Without context, your suggested changes appear a nitpick.

You’ll prefer to have things written a certain way, and I can appreciate that. Unfortunately, I did not go to mind-reading school, and require you to generate the dartboard. Without that, I will simply aim to fulfill on your basic word count and style requirements and move onto my next urgent assignment.

You may have found a clever way to rework and polish my prose, but let’s remember who wrote it in the first place. Without my writing, you would still be staring at a blank page.

If all you are looking for is a draft, freely edit to your desired end. I will not know the mental framework you applied to arrive at the conclusions you did. No context, no learning. I do not need to be a part of it unless specific guidance is given.

No context, no learning. Click To Tweet

From a mile high view, there’s too much “we just need a writer” thinking and not enough “we want this specific writer because…” thinking.

Generating the Dartboard

Generating the Dartboard

When you want things to be done a certain way but don’t provide the empowerment or resources necessary for it to occur, you’re putting the cart before the horse. And you’re confusing people.

If you want to be powerful in management, you must show people the dartboard. “Here’s the bull’s eye, the target to aim for.” If you are not talking about the bull’s eye, or at least the dartboard, you’re wasting your breath.

Most managers over-explain obvious facts everyone knows and spend no time on the crucial details that move a project. Details they should be revisiting and re-presenting for their team repeatedly. Then they blame project managers for not doing their job. Is it your project manager, or is it your lack of leadership? Consider that it’s your lack of leadership.

Your opinions also don’t matter. In other words, if you set a goal for your team to generate $50,000 in sales in three months, and they reach the $50,000 figure in three months, but not in the way you wanted it to be done, it’s because you did not tell them how it was to be done. They still met the goal and you must fulfill on your promises, whatever they were. If you have a problem with how things were done, either throw out your preferences or get in the practice of generating the entire dartboard, not just the bull’s eye.