Never edit an editor.

Listen, when someone proclaims that he or she is an “editor” of any stripe, give that person a little credit. No matter what, we give you carefully considered writing.

Let me put it another way: If you find a mistake in my writing and tell me, you are my new best friend! I mean it. I’ll heave a sigh of relief. I’ll be so happy and grateful!

But don’t take my writing and (I really hesitated there and successfully resisted using the F-word) make mistakes in it. You know, like (oh! I almost used it again!) make a mess of it by introducing your own mistakes into my polished prose.

I promise you, I’ll be livid.

Here’s what I wrote.

Liz Coursen is an award-winning author, editor, and book coach from Sarasota, Florida, where she owns EditNation.com. Liz is the author of 17 books, including The Book Tourist: Seven Steps to a Wildly Successful Book Tour; Self-Editing for the Modern Author; and Shade in the Sunshine State: Reflections on Segregation in Florida. In 2017, in addition to speaking engagements in the US, Liz presented editing and writing programs in Milan, Zurich, and in five different cities in India. In November 2018, Liz presented editing workshops at WordPress conferences in Portland, Maine, and Seattle, Washington, on back-to-back weekends.

That’s it. That’s what I wrote.

Here’s what they printed:

Liz Cousens owns EditNation.com. Liz is the author of 17 books, including The Book Tourist: Seven Steps to a Wildly Liz Coursens is an awardwinning author, editor, and book coach from Sarasota, Florida, where Successful Book Tour; Self-Editing for the Modern Author; and Shade in the Sunshine State: Reflections on Segregation in Florida. In 2017, in addition to speaking engagements in the US, Liz presented editing and writing programs in Milan, Zurich, and in five different cities in India. In November 2018, Liz presented editing workshops at WordPress conferences in Portland, Maine, and Seattle, Washington, on back-to-back weekends.

I have a couple of questions, but I guess the obvious one is simple: Does my host not know my name? There are two incorrect spellings of my last name in this bio, so someone deliberately altered the text from what I sent, and was not even consistent in the mistake.

And then there’s the jumbled hash at the beginning. It makes no sense. How the hell did that happen? I’ll tell you: sloppiness.

And what in the world is going on with all that downright incorrect use of italics? Mine was perfect! Perfect!

I know this rule, too, damn it: Always double-check what your host is doing. Another way to phrase it is never trust a host. Another way to phrase it is that no one will ever mind your business like you will. And, should. That’s the thing. I assumed competency, and everybody knows what they say about “assume.”

Who makes these kinds of mistakes?

NEVER EDIT AN EDITOR UNLESS YOU ARE RIGHT. And even then, ask for permission. Lots of times, you’ll be wrong.