When thinking of a title for this particular muse, I nearly went for ‘Thoughts on my new job as an Editor’. In a way, it is a job, though it’s not paid (I mean, that’s the dream eventually); a voluntary role, but one which requires quite a lot of work. But after thinking about it, I decided to go with ‘my new life’, as it seems more apt. I am now forever glued to whatever electronic device is on hand, checking the pending folder for new articles ready for me to edit, sinking my teeth into whatever juicy bite of culture someone has sent my way. I do it all with absolute glee.
It’s great fun, though at times hard work. It means I get a whole new depth to reading someone’s work, as I have to think about every, individual word that lies before me. Now, this is of course for editing reasons, making sure it makes grammatical sense (e.g. ‘Are the commas in the right place?’), but I think it both adds and subtracts from the experience of being a reader. I have to really think about what I’m reading, so I’m spending far more time than the average browser on this person’s fine work, and perhaps gaining more from it than those who only read it once, and quite quickly at that. However, I also think it can take away from that experience, as the whole ‘re-reading, re-reading, re-reading’ thing gets quite monotonous the more I’ve had to do it in that day.
The other thing I wanted to rant about was the fact I’m a harsh critic. I strive for perfection, so reading and editing an article can be very difficult. I want to change everything so it’s the best it can be, but I also don’t want to over-edit, at the risk of removing that writer’s voice, just because it’s not the way I want it to be. It’s a real tightrope balance. It also means I hate seeing people give anything five stars ever. Myself, I have only given two things five stars in over forty reviews – the BBC’s adaptation of And Then There Were None, and Raleigh Ritchie’s album You’re A Man Now, Boy. In hindsight, I’m almost regretful of those five stars too – I struggle to find anything perfect. Therefore, if someone even points out the slightest flaw in their review, I hate to see they have still given it five stars. Call me picky.
Okay, I’ve ranted now, but really, I’m in love with my role as an Editor. From the little admin jobs, such as checking the email account twice a day, to the tight-knit committee which is getting ever closer, to the Surge Radio show we do once a week (listen to the final show, this Wednesday, 2pm-3pm on Surge Radio) – everything about it is great. Just, please, think before you give something five stars.
(I’m giving this blog post ***. It’s not very interesting if you’re not a Writer. See, I’m picky!)