What a difference an editor makes—

In the fast paced world of internet instant gratification, less than perfect work gets published all the time. My own work is an example of that. I sent the cartoon below to the Spokesman Review, Huckleberries online blog and it was published within hours of clicking send.

Idaho Youth wage

In the online world, being fast is more important than being complete, well edited, and yes, sometimes even accurate. The cartoon was sent to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News at the same time. That paper was going to run it in print, not online. The editor came back with a list of suggestions:

–You dropped a comma and some decimals.
–The cartoon is word heavy, please shorten it.
–Can you make the piles of money proportionally larger?

The end result (below) was a cartoon that better depicted the message I was trying to send. Having 12 hours before the paper went to press allowed for editing and a much better product.

Spokesman Review, Huckleberries Online. February, 23, 2016. Moscow-Pullman Daily News, February 24, 2016.

I was left wondering, if the product can be improved this much with just 12 hours to work with, how much better would it have been if we could have taken 24 hours to think about it? Or 48?

I often see people walking around in tee-shirts or sporting bumper stickers that read, “Second place is the first loser.” This mantra leads to the sloppy work seen all over the internet and cascading through society. Being first doesn’t make you the best—it simply allows others time to improve their product and gives them an opportunity to show you up. In this case, the person I was competing against was myself.

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