Top Five Reasons Not To Hire An Editor

redpenAs you progress in your writing, whether you’re writing novels or short stories, fiction or non-fiction, at some point you’ll probably wonder whether you should hire an editor.

Let me assure you, this is a foolish and ridiculous thing to do. Hiring an editor should never be a thing you seriously consider.* Here are the top five reasons why:

5. Editors are lazy.

All they do is sit around all day reading and critiquing other people’s work. If they had a good work ethic, they’d go out and get a real job that doesn’t depend on other people handing them money

4. You can do it better yourself.

You’ve been writing for awhile so you have a good understanding of grammar and writing craft. Moreover, you’ve probably taken a quiz on the internet that said you could be a grammar teacher or that you’ve mastered the English language, so there’s likely nothing they could teach you.

3. They don’t appreciate your genius.

An editor’s livelihood depends on repeat customers, so no matter how great your work is, they’ll find something wrong with it. The more they find wrong, the more they can charge you for their time and effort. Probably everything they say is a lie, and they’ll continue to lie for as long as they can get your money.

2. They’re too expensive.

It’s not like you’re making any money from your writing, and you won’t be as long as your editor keeps telling you to improve your craft and tighten your story. Don’t think of editing as an investment in the future or a necessary step toward getting your work to a place where agents and publishers won’t laugh at you. Instead, realize it’s a waste of your time and money.

1. You don’t have any blind spots.

This is your story. You know how it’s supposed to go. An outside party will not be able to understand why you did things the way you did them. “Plot holes” and “unconvincing character motivations” are just phrases invented by editors to make you feel bad about your work. Trust your instincts. You know better than they do what your story is supposed to be and nothing they say will make it better.


*In case you weren’t clear, this post was sardonic. Basically the opposite of everything I said is true. If you’re looking for a good editor, I can recommend several.

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

7 comments on “Top Five Reasons Not To Hire An Editor

  1. Yeah, people who say they don’t need editors scare me.

  2. LOL!!! I was going to say, what??? LOL!! My publisher hired me an editor and BOY!! Did she ever teach me a thing or two. Changed the way I write forever. Thanks, Avily for the chuckle!!

  3. It is definitely not cheap, but a good editor is well worth it. Even best-sellers still need editors because a second pair of eyes will catch things that no amount of revising will.

  4. When I saw the title, I was wondering where you were going with this, Avily. But then I considered the source and realized you’d probably employ sarcasm even before I got here and read it. Brilliant! 😉

  5. […] recently posted 5 issues he had with hiring an editor to help him hone his writing in response to this admittedly sardonic post by my good friend and colleague Avily Jerome. His concerns are valid, but rooted in what I would […]

  6. Funny. As you say, there are definitely times to hire an editor. Two I’ve hired and can personally recommend:
    Jeff Gerke: http://www.jeffgerke.com Had him review first ten pages of my manuscript and he put me on the right track.
    Mick Silva: http://www.micksilva.com Had him read entire manuscript (years after Jeff’s work) and give me a macro edit of the entire work–as opposed to a line edit.
    Both put me on the right track at different phases in my work. They also gave me good recommendations on reading to do on the craft.

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