The copyeditor vs. the author

Image: Dariusz Sankowski

The inner-copyeditor sees the world as a huge wall of text that needs to be edited. It feels like its job on the planet is to correct, change, and manipulate the world into a less messed-up place. It gets caught up in the minutiae of life and tries to finagle the fine print into a more agreeable state.

After ramming my forehead into this wall a few times, I’ll reach the point where I realize that I need to stop… chill out… take a deep breath… and detach. It’s at this time when I step back and see that sometimes I just have to conjure my inner-author, crumple this bitch up, and start a whole new draft.

Copyediting is fine. It has its place. It’s something our brains are wired to do. But when it becomes too much and my eyes begin to bleed from cutting/pasting/deleting/blue-screening, I have to remind myself to detach, step away, take a huge breath, and see the world as a big ole’ blank page waiting to be scribbled on. If I could rewrite the whole damn story — not just rearrange the existing words — what story would I write?

Might be a good one.


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