Edit me, a revision

I haven’t always known how to edit. I have a master’s degree in English lit, but my education did not prepare me for my career as an editor. No, I learned to edit afterwards, on the job. My process is one of many, I’m sure, but I want to tell you about it. It sheds some light on what I’m seeking from this blog, I think.

Before I begin to edit something, I try to learn from the writer what they expect in the final product. I gather the appropriate style guide, dictionary, and any other reference materials. I find a quiet place to work uninterrupted. I take a moment to clear my mind and focus on my work. For me, editing is almost meditative. I need to completely focus on the writing, turning each word, each phrase, over in my mind to ascertain its meaning and clarity. I try to make my queries objective, to be minimally invasive in the writing.

When I edit, I pay complete attention to the writing in front of me. The words become the most important thing in the world to me, if only for the brief time that I am editing them. I seek to understand the words, in the smallest sense – of spelling, punctuation – to the largest – of theme and message. As an editor, I care more about being present for the writing than about changing it in any essential way.

So, edit me: Read my words. Give them your undivided attention. Offer me your constructive criticism or your compliments. Am I who I think I am? Or, as I suspect, is there more to me than that?

I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

2 thoughts on “Edit me, a revision

  1. Always more, because blogging’s a show, and we only reveal what we choose to. The shutters are always up, to an extent, and the mundane, the irrelevant and the overly vulnerable things are not shared by virtue of creating a ‘performance’ for the reader.

Comments are closed.