What I learnt about editing from Michael O'Donnell, editor of World Medicine
1. To make a publication look effortless takes effort.
2. Hire people you like having lunch with.
3. Be courageous – and courteous.
4. Give your writers space to make mistakes.
5. Complaints are an opportunity.
6. Encourage your readers to write – and spend time helping them to do so.
7. Audience surveys do not measure the soul of a publication.
8. Spend as much of your publisher’s money as you can on improving their product.
9. A well-turned phrase beats an angry rant.
10. Enjoy yourselves. If you don’t your readers won’t.
And a bonus one from Geoff Watts, a fellow World Medicine alumnus: You can be serious without being solemn.
Written as a tribute to my former editor and mentor, and reprinted with permission from The Writer, the Society of Medical Writers, Volume 18 No 1, August 2019.
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