One day, shortly after starting my first job that involved a lot of writing, I realized that I worked for a magician.
Seriously! My boss, another John, could look at a good piece of writing and make it amazing. All he used was a pencil.
I can recall standing next to him as he looked over my memo that first time. He changed a “this” to a “that,” reorganized a couple of words in another sentence and handed it back to me.
Naturally, I figured that since he was the boss he had to do something to contribute; after all, his name was going on it. But when I looked at the simple changes he made, I was astonished. Those simple changes made a huge difference.
“Everybody needs an editor,” John said, smiling.
That was close to 40 years ago, and since then I have used that line constantly. I’ve…
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