My editor did exactly what Samantha asked of Michael: asked me why, over and over again. Why I am I telling this story? Why should anyone else care? Why should they read past the first paragraph? Why is this sidebar here?
I always thought editors as being like the New Yorker's Comma Queen, focused on sharpening syntax. But while that is certainly part of their purview, they are masters at crafting compelling stories and tailoring the facts of the matter to the intended audience.
I mean I've got plenty to talk about but I can't get consistent. For now I'll stick to shitposting on HN I guess.
What I DID do was to write things down. Any time I discovered a new thing (risk managment, recovery-oriented computing, various consulting tips/tricks/and so on) I wrote down what I wanted to remember. But I wrote that down on my web site, in HTML. Sometimes when I procrastinate I look to improve the layout, language or content.
There's not a huge amount of content there (maybe 20 posts?), but it seems to interest others so that's ok I guess. I'm happy with my blogging-but-not-blogging thing. It scratches the itch without consuming me, my time, and I don't need an editor.
That said there's a lot of other stuff on there that floats my boat, so there's that work/play variety which floats my boat.
It was a useful resource for a few years, but it never really took off and I had the pain of dealing with spam and user-support. So now the site is read-only archive-only, and offline.
But it was a good experience. Forcing myself to document things "nicely" really helped make sure I learned things and didn't need to refer back to my own notes in the future.
"Who is entitled to write his memoirs? Everyone. Because no one is required to read them."
As to other comments about "having something to say," I'd just observe that many of the earliest blogs and proto-blogs (think Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manner column in Byte) were basically just journals. Not everything has to be great thought.
I still work with Samantha about once per year for a tune-up. Coincidentally, she edited the article I'm planning to publish later this week.
Trivia: I submitted this article to HN when I originally wrote it, but I was still pretty new to this community and didn't realize how clickbaity the original title came across. I changed the title a year later and resubmitted, but it didn't get any traction then either, so I figured it wasn't up HN's alley. I just changed the title this weekend because I realized it was doing well in search queries for the term "blog editor," and I wanted to make it obvious that the post explained how to repeat my process, so I guess the new title made a difference.
How many hours does Samantha work for you on a monthly basis, and how often do you publish?
I work with Samantha on about one article per year, and it takes her 1-2 hours to edit it. She offers different levels of rigor depending on what the client wants. I'm generally interested in high-level feedback and anti-patterns in my writing that she can warn me about.
danluu also hired an editor and says something similar aboout feedback, per this https://danluu.com/p95-skill/
I mean I've casually played some CoD Mobile, it's crappy but I enjoy it well enough. Did some ranked games, and within just ten or so matches the blurb came up saying I "beat" 70% of the players. I'm fairly sure that just means there's a very long tail of players who haven't played as much. I'm sure I could get top 10 or even 1% if I just play more often, moreso than if I get good at the game (because I like to think I'm very middle of the road, and / or that other players are bad because they're 8 years old).
The hint is your words "have to improve". Simply grinding doesn't mean you'll automatically improve, or improve fast enough to ever reach the top. You need something more.
When you are playing games at very high volumes then you also tend to improve rapidly, since even in the 95th-99th percentiles there are usually dumb mistakes that cost you the game.
hn thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25219924
in particular, would be interesting to match with bloggers who have similar release cadence and have had similar success
the goal would be to vet ideas and then do a review pass
A related writing hack for mac OS users, is to use the built-in text-to-speech tools Accessibility > Speech and make the computer read your drafts to you.
See info for how to setup a keyboard shortcut here:
TTS doesn't interpret pacing and anticipate the way a thoughtful human reader would read text aloud. Which defeats much of the purpose of reading your own text aloud. But TTS should help you find grammar mistakes, typos and missing words.
Else, you can (I guess?) copy / paste it into Google Translate as well.
I'm not sure about what offline alternatives exist.
If you have the budget, she'll build up a style guide with you that is tuned to your little specific preferences. Mostly little Canadianisms, decisions on when to hyphenate, or points about tone.
It was an absolute dream to work with her.