Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Editor Confessions: Just Like Taxicab Confessions but without the Sex

So you wanna be an editor? Here are a few things that most editors were not warned about before becoming editors:

1. You will rarely/never be able to read for pleasure again.
2. You will rarely/never find time to write.
3. You think you saw bad (fake) writing in your editing classes? That's nothing compared with the drivel you'll see in the real world. The clients we take on are the good ones of the bunch. But it's a whole big world of terribleness out there.
4. Most people think they are wonderful writers.
5. Most people are not wonderful writers (though they may be wonderful people).

There are few true "rules" to writing, but a few rules I consider immutable truths:
  • Every word matters.
  • The ultimate goal of writing is to communicate.
  • Showing off only counts if you are communicating.
  • Just because you understand what you've written doesn't mean you are communicating effectively.
  • Just because you don't understand what you're reading doesn't mean that the writer isn't communicating effectively. 
  • A subtle aside is usually more effective than a hammer.
  • While it's true that good writers break the rules with some regularity, note that as a prerequisite, one must know the rules before breaking them. 
  • Yeah, I got it—not all "rules" are rules, they are simply guidelines. That's why people say silly things like, "Well, it can be done either way." Sometimes, however, there's only one right answer, or the "alternative" way looks, sounds, and reads terribly. 
There you go—some largely unfiltered thoughts from the front. 

Now go get 'em, Tiger! (too soon?)


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