Everyone Needs A Good Editor.

A few weeks ago, I flew to Australia to give a talk about email, and I flew down on Fiji Airways.(1)

Ever since, I haven’t stopped thinking about the flight map in their in-flight magazine. I’ve always been fascinating by these route maps — I recently discovered a Tumblr dedicated to old airline maps, and wasted a few hours browsing through maps from the past. But the Fiji Airways map was a little different.

At first glance, everything seems pretty ordinary.

But when you zoom in on the North American section of the map, you start to notice something: It’s wrong.

Toronto is basically at the Northwest Passage. Chicago, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake are in Canada. Raleigh is in Baltimore, Charlotte and Phoenix are in the Midwest, and Reno is in Portland. St. Louis added an “e” to its name and moved to the Bay Area.

I don’t know how the map ended up this inaccurate — but it really could have used a good editor.

I used to think that editors were just for catching big mistakes — like the ones on this map. But really great editors do more than that. They can also help shape the projects you’re working on. They’re people to bounce ideas off of, and people who can challenge your point of view. They’re there for typos, yes, but also partners to help turn your work into something amazing.

You don’t have to go it alone. Find an editor, a mentor, a partner — someone to work with on your ideas. Whatever you’re making, a great editor can help you make it better.

As for Fiji Airways: If you need an editor for this map, I’m happy to help. All I’ll need is two first-class tickets back to Fiji and a week or two off work to help you get this one right, OK? :-)


  1. I should say: Their customer service was excellent. I’d absolutely recommend them if you’re flying to that part of the Pacific.