My Three Editors

I have often wondered what it would be like to work with an editor.  Someone who would help me fine tune my writing, while teaching me how to do better on future stories.  That’s one thing I haven’t found as a blogger – an editor.  I do get comments, and I am thankful for every one.  I learn so much from how other people ‘see’ my voice.   Even if they think I am a boneheaded idiot, I find something that helps me improve with every new smidge of feedback.

But while I was turning this whole topic over in my mind, I realized that I was wrong, yet again.  (Very freeing, this being wrong stuff… it would be too much pressure to be right all the time!  I would never be able to relax, worrying about what would happen if I were to be wrong someday!)

I actually do have an editor.  Not just one, in fact, but three editors.  They are constant companions and the absence of one or more usually results in me spending a fair amount of time trying to pry my foot out of my mouth.  How could I forget them?

There are three good friends who help me stay on the right track:  Mr. Common Sense, Mrs. Keep it Real, and Miss Manners.  You may laugh, but without all three of them, working together, leaning over my shoulder, whispering in my inner ear and even smacking me upside the head with a virtual frying pan, I would have all the grace, charm and insight of a loaf of bread.

I sometimes struggle with Mr. Common Sense.  After all, it is so tempting to go off in a flight of fancy, flapping my middle-aged wings while trying to achieve vertical lift.  But Mr. Common Sense is always there, sometimes grabbing me by the ankles, yanking me back to Earth and reminding me that relying on him is really my best bet, and one of my strongest suits.  He is sometimes dull and prosaic, but without him I would be just another crazy woman, trying to walk around in a tube top and short shorts, thinking I made them look good.

Mrs. Keep it Real is like a mother to me.  She reminds me that it’s okay to talk about bizarre things I see or think, as long as I don’t embellish.  She is the Anti-Bedazzler in the back of my head every time I write.  A minimum of description and light on the adjectives is her tried-and-true recipe for a delicious story.  Some things are interesting enough all by themselves, and if they aren’t, maybe I should find something else to write about.  Bless her; I think she keeps me from being pompous, pedantic and paranoid.  Besides helping me make a wonderful written ‘feast’ with what I already have at hand.

Without Miss Manners, I would probably write things that would find a way to offend multiple people with every sentence I type.  I might be tempted to describe things in a way that could be hurtful, unkind, or just plain rude.  No one is perfect, and I am as likely as anyone to be critical when I should be considerate, judgmental when I should be understanding.  Listening to Miss Manners is, I hope, the way that I can keep heart in what I write, and keep my vision cleared of all that muck that comes with mean spirited thinking.

These three stalwarts have guided me for many years.  I admit I haven’t always listened to their good counsel.  Sometimes, I act before I check in with one or more of them.  The outcome usually isn’t pretty.  But when I let them edit my thoughts, my voice and my typing, I feel pretty confident that I’m in good hands.  If I ever end up working with a real live editor, I hope I will be as lucky.

Sandi Tuttle is the host of the Blog Talk Radio show “An Average Woman in a Superwoman World” (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandi-tuttle).

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About homebadger

I own and operate HomeBadger Creations, Inc., maker of hand made wraps, shawls, ponchos, scarves and tunics for women of all ages. Custom orders are always welcome!
This entry was posted in Humor, Self Improvement, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to My Three Editors

  1. Loved hearing your perspective on this. It is so true that our own internal “editors” are the most effective “tools” to reference. Also loved your comment on the celebration of being wrong. I couldn’t have said it better myself. There is liberation in being wrong sometimes. The need to be right is akin in my mind to chasing perfection. Both drain our creativity and divert our energies from where we most need them.

    • homebadger says:

      Thank you Kathi! I’m glad you enjoyed it! And yes, it is much easier and more fun just to be ourselves – and learn to say “I was wrong” gracefully! 🙂

  2. Rebecca Fyfe says:

    Ooh! I listen to those editors with my blogging too! 🙂

    As usual, your way with words has made me smile. 🙂

  3. homebadger says:

    Thanx, ‘Becca! Unlike my evil twin side, those three never steer me wrong and then watch and laugh in glee! 🙂

  4. dalelieberman says:

    Once again my friend, I so enjoyed reading your blog! you never cease to make me smile–enjoyed our “catch-up”!

  5. I am cracking up. I love reading your blog because it always makes me think. I will now provide to you, some wisdom that I learned from another: Above all else, tell the truth when you write. Yes, you’ll get backlash from a lot of people, but only because they FELT what you had to say. They realize you’re telling the truth. Resonate with your readers and give them some FEELING to take away from the experience. Any feeling, really: love, hate, anger, betrayal, admiration, humor, bitterness, justification, etc…

    Through those feelings, you’ll be remembered. Maybe not always with fondness, but remembered either way. It keeps your name front and center. As always, I have an example 🙂

    Madonna. WHAT in the HELL are you talking about, Jo? I’m sure that just went through your head 🙂 But let’s LOOK at Madonna, shall we?

    Madonna started her career with a bang. She was the material girl and was innocent and cute Like a Virgin. As her career progressed, she did some daring things when she began to fall off the radar. Do you remember the music video of Like a Prayer? She kissed a black man on screen and burned a cross! HOLY MOLY! Talk about press coverage! It was a scandal! Oh my! But it made her a household name again. When her career began to decline again, what did she do? Hmm… remember that book she released with all the nude photographs? Scandal! Outrage! But, yet again, there she was on the lips of every news reporter and prude on the planet. She is a marketing GENIUS.

    Now, while I’m not saying one should strip to their undies (or less) and pose in front of a camera (after all, how many of us have THAT body?), I AM suggesting that we use a bit of truth. Sometimes, telling the truth is what sets one apart from one’s peers. It’s what makes one memorable. White women have been kissing black men for a long time. Madonna just had the chutzpah to do it in front of the world. The moral of this (very long) story is: every now and again, tell Miss Manners to piss off. 🙂

    WRITE ON!

  6. homebadger says:

    I love your take on things. And I actually agree 100% on Madonna. In fact, my friend Janet Powers got the break we all wish for when she was interviewing a famous female singer on her BlogTalkRadio show and this singer called Madonna a whore. It went viral, and even got talked about on “The View”. Being Janet, she made massive quantities of lemonade out of this lemon drop, and now she devotes her time to helping the rest of us find our voices!

    I am gaining courage with every blog, every radio episode. Believe it or not, this is me being brave. But the best is yet to come. I always see both sides (it’s a blessing and a curse…) but at some point I do reach a position i decide to stick on… Like talking about “Dance Moms” in my show on Monday. I watched the whole thing devolve into some nasty mess of vulgarity and all the worst qualities women possess. And while I respect the position ‘coach’ holds in any team, I have watched this coach abuse that with meddling in relationships between mother and child, deluding herself that she is ‘just trying to help’. It sickens me, and now that I know what my position is, I feel confident about expressing it.

    I love that you pass on good advice that you have learned! As much as I love your writing! Thank you! I am going to tuck that one away in the back of my mind, There will come a time when Miss Manners will be coming around the corner, and she will find I have locked the door!

    Back at ya!

    Hugz,
    Sandi

  7. Pingback: Author Blog Challenge – Day 11 Recap « 28-Day Blog Challenge for Authors

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