Why use a Technical Editor?

Why use a Tech Editor?  Short answer:  Happiness!!

Designers are creative people.  We love our crochet & knit designers.  They make the beautiful things that we want to stitch.  They have lots of wonderful ideas swimming around in their heads.  I love crochet and knit designers!  Without you, where would we be? What would we stitch?  I know what I’d be doing, lots of single crochet and rectangles.  I don’t consider myself to be a creative person.  At the same time, there may be designers who are not huge fans of writing up patterns and figuring out all the row and stitch counts.  By all means, there are definitely many designers out there who can write up exquisite patterns that are flawless.

Then again, there may be designers who struggle to make sure all the *’s, ()’s, and repeats are positioned just right.  There are also designers who simply don’t want to take the time to work on all the sections of a style sheet.  They’d rather be creating the next awesome thing.  Or designers who feel that writing while stitching hinders their creativity.  This is fine, I don’t intend to stop you, please let that creativity flow.  But writing a pattern after stitching the entire piece has its own challenges.

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For both kinds of designers (those who love the numbers and those who don’t), Technical Editors (Tech Editors, TEs) are here to help.  Even if you write up your own pattern and are pretty sure it is accurate, it is always helpful to have a second set of eyes look it over.  None of us can spot our own mistakes.  Your brain automatically inserts what you want to be in a certain place.  This happens to ALL of us.

Spell check and autocorrect can often insert or miss a word in the wrong spot.  In my own pattern I had a line that read “This hat will fit a 23″ head.”  Or at least that’s what I thought I typed.  It wasn’t until after publishing, a day or so later, that I noticed it really said, “This hat will fir a 23″ head.”  F-I-R, like the tree.  Not F-I-T, like a hat does on your head.

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Other common mistakes could be in stitch counts, or in line descriptions when you’re using copy/paste for repeated rows.  For these and a whole slew of other reasons, technical editors are here to help.

Let me tell you a little something I’ve learned about TEs…we love numbers!!!  Like, seriously love.  In the short time I’ve used the title of Tech Editor, the other TEs I’ve met have all been super smart, super nerdy, number crunching people.  We crave the numbers.  We love all the minutia of the detail.  Many of us have 1 if not 2 or more degrees in mathematics or sciences, or ‘day jobs’ that engage our nerdiness (accountants, lab technicians).  Personally, I have a Bachelors and Masters of Science, I worked specifically on technical editing at an Environmental Consultant company, and spent 2 years working on a PhD before getting married.  I love data entry.

Let me say that again, I LOVE DATA ENTRY.

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So, the other excellent reason for using a Technical Editor is you will make THEIR life so happy!!!  You will be fulfilling this drive we have for perfection in numbers and detail, and in return we will provide you with a beautiful, flawless pattern that you will then send out into the world with confidence.

How much does it cost?  That will be up to the arrangement with each TE, but I’ve seen numbers from $15-$40/hr.  Is it worth it?  Think about the life of your pattern.  How much revenue will it bring you over the LIFE of the pattern, compared to the money spent on making sure it is beautiful and perfect?

Finding the right Tech Editor can be a challenge.   My own information can be found here (how I edit) and here (fees).  In the coming weeks and months, I will also be sharing with you information on other technical editors.  Technical Editors are a team.  We all have different strengths, styles and personalities.  We also have busy lives in addition to our TE time.  If ever one TE’s schedule or specialties can’t fit a pattern or designer, we will happily share or suggest another TE.

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I hope this has answered some questions you might have had about technical editing and how it could benefit you.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or contact me directly.

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