To Edit and To Be Edited

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Ever have one of those weeks that just seems so surreal...

...because it is going better than a week typically goes?

I know weird, but that seems to be how it is this week. I came back from Missouri to literally dozens of emails, piles of work, and yet, somehow, everything just seems to fall together.

That includes a few opportunities (mixed in with some good luck) in the writing realm. One of my articles for my history internship made its last round of revisions last night, and will hit the Internet come Monday. Considering the editor and I made it out with a final humorous banter of emails, I think it was a good first experience of working with a professional editing my work. The article still sounds like me, and if anything, I learned a lot too. It was the first time I had an editor come to me and propose an idea for an article, and I survived and had an easier time starting from scratch than I thought I would. Honestly, sometimes it is fun to handle control off to someone else (smiles).

Another fortuitous thing was a professional science organization I belong to finally took me up on my volunteering offers of writing and editing for their newsletter. I have tried for positions with them and two times answered solicitations for assistance, and then, it puttered out, without any work getting sent my way. However, a really wise individual told me that not only patience but also persistence both would pay off eventually. Sure enough, they emailed a column for me, and I returned a draft to the organization complete with editorial comments in less than 24 hours turn-around. One thing I learned from this particular editing experience is that some science writers struggle with passive sentence construction, yet write at such an advanced level of thought and tightly organized/structured thought at that. I hope the writer likes the suggestion of a title and appreciates the beauty of an actively-written piece, like I appreciated the opportunity to read her work and help remedy the problems with the draft.

That said, the writing world is of editing and being edited, and I could not have been a happier person this week getting the experience to do both. If any of you knew how long I had been trying, you'd gain some hope too even if you're in a dry spell. The main lessons are that: 1) editing is not as bad as one may think, 2) being edited likewise can be an enjoyable experience and a learning one at that, and 3) trying different avenues to get things to do that make you happy (such as writing) do eventually work out if you keep trying. Happy writing, editing, and being edited!


j said...

I think being on both sides of the equation makes you better at both tasks - writing and editing. And, off topic, but thanks for the note about trying twice before to get work from the Science organization. Persistence is so necessary - it's nice to hear these stories about its paying off!

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