Editing an English language document

After being selected as the new editorial assistant, I was both elated to have a larger role in Ooligan Press and apprehensive of the mistakes that lie ahead. And while I am still thrilled to be an editor, I can’t seem to rid myself of the ever-present anxiety and fear. They’re like that relative you can’t get away from at a family function who leeches onto you because they think you’re peas in a pod when in reality you have nothing in common—you just can’t shake them no matter how hard you try. (Or is this just me?) So instead of putting up a front and acting like I know everything about copyediting, I’m just going to be honest: I do not have all the answers when it comes to editing blog posts. (This is the part when you gasp in disbelief and disappointment.) But my floaters and I will work our hardest to edit posts with a light hand and preserve the voice, the originality, and the integrity of authors and their writing. My job is to make these posts as close to the author’s vision as possible.

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating now: The blog editing process is a conversation. An author’s job ends once their post is published on the Ooligan blog, but until then, the revisions can be contested and any concerns can still be addressed. Authors may recall receiving a formulaic email stating they have twenty-four hours to review any changes to their post, and I encourage everyone to do so. I would write a more heartfelt notification, but let’s be honest, there are only so many ways you can say time’s almost up; regardless, I strongly recommend (a.k.a. demand) that authors fight the urge to immediately delete the routine notification and review their revised blog posts instead. The more eyes that examine a post the better.

Like I said, I’m not perfect. A mistake may slip through the cracks time and again. Every book has a typo and occasionally so will a blog post, but authors can be another preventative measure in spotting a pesky misplaced comma, misspelled name, or questionable colon. One less error in a post is one less thing for me to ruminate over endlessly—and I’m sure authors would enjoy an error-free blog post. In the words of a past Ooligan editor:

It’s easy to be hard on ourselves, but forgiveness and compassion toward our own mistakes is a challenge worth striving toward. (Is this just an editor thing? We tend to beat ourselves up over the tiniest details—a typo or two is a fraction of a percent of an entire book, but it’s enough to ruin an editor’s entire month.)

So with a little help, understanding, and communication, I can say goodbye to grammar-induced anxiety, and fellow Oolies can rest assured that their writing will be better than they left it.

Goodbye distant relative whose affinity I don’t reciprocate, maybe I’ll see you at the next major holiday. Fingers crossed I’m out of the country . . .

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