A long time ago, a lovely gal worked at a place that shall not be named. That place had policies but no procedures.
So the firm would put in writing that it would enforce it’s dresscode, but not actually explain how it defined dresscode or give examples of what was deemed appropriate and inappropriate.
The firm would state we will not violate laws. But not explain to the employees what the laws were, how they applied to the firm, and what the employees needed to do to make sure they followed the laws.
Policy without procedures is meaningless.
The same applies to writing.
We say show don’t tell. Great policy. But if we haven’t taken the time to explain what showing is and teach the person to identify what telling is, how in the world can anyone follow that policy?
What’s my point here?
Thanks for asking. Three things actually.
In order to teach self-editing, you have to pass on the procedures to writers. I’ve read books on self-editing that didn’t tell me how to replicate the process in my own work. Not very useful.
In order to be a great editor, you have to have not just understand policy but understand and execute procedures.
In order to give great feedback, you have to explain why the edit makes sense (mention the policy then explain the procedure behind the edit)