Learning How Editing Can Make You a Better Writer

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

I’ve been getting to write more stories for work, which has been great in terms of developing my reporting and writing skills. I’ve found that line and copy editing stories for Poynter Online throughout the past year has made me a better writer.

It’s taught me to write tighter sentences, triple-check my facts and cut out unnecessary information. It’s also helped me improve my ability to conceptualize an idea and see it through the reporting process. I’m now more readily able to take a big idea and find a focus for it. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned how helpful it is to find a focus and talk about a story with an editor on the front-end as opposed to writing the story and then having an editor tell you after the fact that the story is “all over the place.”

Here are some of my recent Poynter Online stories: