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The Write Stuff

I’ve spent the better part of my career dealing with words. But the bulk of my time has been crafting other people’s words. As a magazine editor I’ve helped writers shape their stories and find and hone their voices while maintaining the integrity and voice of the magazines they’re writing for.

A few months ago I read an article about editors who write vs. editors who just edit. I fell under the latter category. There are benefits for working with both types of editors, but that depends on what kind of writer you are. Personally, I like working for editors who don’t write all the time because they don’t feel compelled to rewrite every line you put to paper for the sake of putting their stamp on things.

I think I was a good editor, but I’ve recently realized I have a hard time being objective with my own writing. What’s the phrase? “Writer, Edit Thyself?” I’ve been re-reading a few of my posts, and I can only see what I should have edited, what I’d like to re-write, word choices I’d change and topics I wished that I had followed a different train of thought on. I hate looking at something I posted a month ago and finally coming up with The. Perfect. Line. Damn. It’s the same feeling you get when someone insults you and you craft the perfect comeback—three days later.

I thought about going back and rewriting/editing a few things, but I’ve decided to leave them because I hope to be able to look back in a year and see how much my writing has improved. (And, I just learned that if someone subscribes to me, they get notified when I go back to edit a post 672 times! Thanks for the head’s up, Debra!)

I’m a work in progress right now. This is the first time in years that I’ve made an effort to write almost every day. I was so busy assigning to other writers and managing the day-to-day stuff, that I didn’t have the time or energy to tell my own stories. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m finally learning to write and learning to become a better storyteller. This blog is like my crash course, my Writing 101 homework. I’m very lucky to have a couple of good editors (Lesley and Bill) who give me fairly objective criticism. But I’m just starting to find my voice. I’m just figuring out what I want to write about and how I want to say it. I’m trying to stop editing my personality out an am working on getting the voices of other bloggers out of my head as I write. And I’m trying not to worry what people will thing about it.

I appreciate everyone who surfs over here every day to see what inane thing I’ve posted. (I’m so amazed that anyone other than Bill, Lesley and Chris ever checks in here.) And I love your comments (so far no one has been mean!). I hope you all stick with me while I work this out.

(Wouldn’t it be cool to say that you read me when?!)

Oh, wait. That’s MY fantasy!


4 Responses

  1. OMG if you get all big and famous and then shine me on I am gonna kick your ASS! *smooch!*

    Can I tell you something girlie? This could be my favorite post of yours so far. It’s this quiet little honest thing where you’re just kind of like, “Hi, this is me.” That’s a very good thing.

    NOTE: Lesley wins as best editor over Bill as she has never made Mo delete one single thing. HAHA! (Uh, Hi Bill??)

    Keep workin it out so I can keep reading, reading!

  2. I like it that you wrote: “And I’m trying not to worry what people will thing about it.” in a post about editing. I like a blog to look immediate and spontaneous rather than professionally glossy. I mean, it should be literate without so many typos that it’s incomprehensible, but some imperfect English and hasty typing here and there just make it human and so much more personal somehow.

  3. I think one of my favorite blogging days so far was the day I got this sweet little email from Lesley saying, “Hey, I enjoy your blog and I am going to follow you on Twitter…okay? I’m not a wacko or anything.”

    I’m paraphrasing because I am too busy/lazy to look-up the email but that was the gist. And it is one of my favorite days because that’s when I “met” you two and I really look forward to what you both write. You’re entertaining reads and I swear, I’m not a wacko either. 🙂

  4. Debra: I remember it so well! I’d strolled through so many blogs and while most were all so nice, with so much heart and energy and effort, it wasn’t until I got to yours that the bell was all, “DING DING DING!! This is the blog/blogger I’ve been trying to find!” and the rest is a match made in blogging heaven. Heehee! I still remain totally humbled that you read mine in return.

    (And you’d be surprised – or maybe you wouldn’t – at the number of people in a day I have to tell No, I am not a wacko.)

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