Thursday, August 24, 2006

On editing

She was a middle-aged woman, slightly pudgy around the edges, with a critical air about her. Her dark-rimmed glasses rested just where she wanted them on her nose, and her clothes, though soft and simple, had been carefully and particularly selected.

Leaning in toward the round dinner table so she could be heard above the conference din, she pronounced with a knowing smile, "You're an editor, aren't you?"

"Why yes." I probably didn't actually say it quite like that, but it's my story and I get to write it however I want to.

Her co-worker, who sat next to her, looked astonished. "How did you know that?" she demanded.

I was about to answer that perhaps she had read my nametag, since it seemed to give away just about all the details of my life, when the first woman answered.

"We editors are born."

Feeling that I had just been linked to some sort of elite editing aristocracy, I shifted uncomfortably and changed the subject.

Was I carrying a red pen, or correcting someone's word choice? What was it that gave me away? After all, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a good editor. But she could tell.

Later that night, I got to thinking, and it seems there is something about me--call it perfectionism, being anal retentive, whatever--that is a huge asset to me as an editor. I'm very particular, and each time I miss the mark, I try again--harder--to improve.

But that impulse is not unique to editors. In fact, I think that as a follower of Christ, I'm called to be an editor--to humbly approach and revisit my life, each day making choices that are closer to what God wants them to be.

So in that sense, yes, I was born an editor. But then, so was everybody else.


Christie said...

Neat connections. I like how you wrapped up the post.


brannabee said...

um. i was just wondering... are you free sometime this week, maybe you could come edit my LIFE, seeing as how i'm pretty sure i was NOT born an editor, but rather a puppeteer?


your post made me laugh.

Dulcimer said...

I'd be happy to.

As long as you teach me puppeteering 101. :)

brannabee said...

"i'd be glad to."

i said that with my hand, just so you know. cuz i'm that cool.