I’m writing to you, dear reader, from a residency program in Santa Fe where I am spending two weeks in glorious solitude working on a book proposal. If we know each other in “real life,” you might already know that I cherish my alone time because it helps me recharge, refocus, and recommit. Receiving this gift of time and space, however, compelled me to reconnect with you.
Confession: Editing is not easy, and it is not fun. It can be a painstaking process, one that is riddled with anxiety and tough decisions, with mistakes lurking on each line and with every word. But it is also exhilarating to see someone's writing truly come to life.
On most days, I consider editing to be the stuff of dreams. I love nothing more than knowing the rules and figuring out ways to bend them in service to artists. But today, after several months of sneaky commas and pesky hyphens getting the better of me, I was feeling defeated. Then I joined a training webinar and, without going into too much detail (which, trust me, would bore the life out of you), I was reminded that these challenges actually pointed to my skills as an editor and to my humanity. I watched as many, MANY of my colleagues admitted to facing similar hurdles. We supported each other in pursuing, and doing, our best work.
The lesson here? Seek help.
With that, I leave you and return to my residency. But know that you have an editor in your corner, ready and willing to help shape your writing into the best it can be.
Image: A favorite print of mine. Liliana Porter, "To Be Wrong," 2013 (13-321), three-color lithograph, 22 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches on Arches 88, Collaborating Printer: Kellie Hames, edition of 25, published by Tamarind Institute.