The Struggle for the RTP: When to Listen to Your Editors & When Not To

By Will Hesslink

Editor’s Note: This reflection was written by a student in the Introduction to Journalism class I teach. I thought his ideas on the struggle for the RTP or “Ready to Publish” are a universal part of the writing life. What do you think?

“I found that editing can be useful, but it can also be challenging.”

This semester I took Journalism for my English class. There were many parts of the class. Things that we learned included different types of writing skills and styles, how to create layouts for publishing and how to use desktop publishing. We worked on researching topics, writing articles which included how to interview different subjects and how to “capture” a reader’s attention.

The one very important part of publishing and writing is editing. I found that editing can be useful, but it can also be challenging. We had to have different people read our articles and offer their suggestions. I know that it is important to have other people’s views and ideas in order to help make a piece more interesting.

“I found it difficult to have multiple opinions on my pieces, because each person who read it had their own ideas about how to improve it.”

However, I found it difficult to have multiple opinions on my pieces, because each person who read it had their own ideas about how to improve it. Sometimes the ideas and suggestions were not always the same. I found it hard to edit at times because I had to find a middle ground and take everyone’s ideas for making it better. I also found it hard to listen to other’s suggestions when I thought they did not really understand what I was trying to say or they wanted to change how I was presenting information.

“The …problem is picking which advice to take, and which to ignore. People have different opinions and it can be tough to choose which one fits better depending on how it flows with the rest of the article.”

Editing must be done in order to be able to publish an article or turn in any paper for school. The only problem is picking which advice to take, and which to ignore. People have different opinions and it can be tough to choose which one fits better depending on how it flows with the rest of the article. In my experience with multiple editors this semester I found out how tough it can get to juggle people’s edits while still trying to make everybody happy and have the article still flow well.


Chair & Pen publishes stories on the writing process and the writing life. It is edited and curated by Writing Coach Annalisa Parent. To learn more about how to work with Annalisa, visit www.DateWithTheMuse.com

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