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Category Archives for Editing

find a proofreader

Confessions of a Proofreading Zealot (and How To Find a Proofreader for You)

I never was a good student, and I had very little interest in writing or anything related to writing. But, I soon discovered that I had an interest in words.

As a kid, I would go shopping with my mother. I would look at signs and labels and anything that was written and then try to decipher what I saw.

Eventually, I got the hang of it. Even so, I never really liked reading and writing until I started getting good grades in high school English and on my English Regents exam.

While I didn’t become a writer, I used writing in my career as a personnel specialist (military), computer programmer, and software tester. Then, when I retired from the software world, I had to find something to do.

What to do, fix words? That was it!

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How to Cut the Fat and Make Your Writing Lean and Mean

Raise your hand if you’re intimidated by public speaking. If you’re in public right now, maybe just agree discreetly to yourself so strangers at the next table won’t give you the side-eye.

What is it about talking to a large audience that gives so many of us pause? Is it the staring, potentially judgmental crowd? Is it the harsh lights and wailing microphone feedback? Is it the possibility that we’ll forget to wear pants?

For most people, it’s the pressure of being “on”—front and center, live, in the hot seat.

Unless the words of your speech are graven upon your soul, you’re prime for derailment at any moment.

But what if, while you were up on that stage, there was a way to freeze or rewind time, without anyone knowing but you? You could choose your words perfectly or even reverse and rescue yourself from a disastrous quagmire of word salad.

How many people would be afraid of public speaking then?

Writing for an audience is public speaking, and your backspace key is your DeLorean.

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You’ll Never Be an Editor (And Other Lies I’ve Been Told)

Some people say that you are your worst critic. There’s a lot of truth in that, and at least for me, I hold myself to higher standards than are necessary.

But there are times where others are sort of the worst.

Or, at least, they aren’t helpful in encouraging you to pursue what you’re really interested in. Maybe they didn’t mean to be your worst critic, but offhanded or thoughtless comments can sometimes be as hurtful (or at least as unhelpful) as an intended one.

As writers and entrepreneurs, we put ourselves out there—our words, our voices, our ideas. We’re in a vulnerable spot to be judged. Though honestly, there’s a lot of good, constructive criticism that comes our way, to even out the negativity.

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writer turned editor

Shoe on the Other Foot: Lessons from a Writer Turned Editor

I am a complicated person.

One day you’ll find me loftily tossing away the instruction manual for my “much assembly required” bookshelf, and the next I’m picking through search results for “best floss.”

I simultaneously love process, order, structure, and organization, and enjoy sending it all up in flames. (Ask my college best friend about the time I undid his perfectly alphabetized DVD collection when he wasn’t home.)

As a writer, I embraced this Pandora’s box of eyebrow-furrowing paradoxes. “Call it my complex creative spirit,” I probably said, on one of my high horse days (to which there was much eye-rolling in the land). You can usually get away with such woo-woo excuses when you’re a writer because, let’s just say it already, no one really expects you to be super reliable.

You know it’s true. Writers rank up there with dreamcatcher makers, crystal collectors, self-proclaimed animal mediums, and Santa Claus in terms of how much adult people believe in us.

It’s part of why a lot of editors and writers fight.

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