Editing & Writing Come with Fun Surprises
Starting the day with my laptop and a cup of coffee has always been a dream. Funny thing about dreams though is the unexpected ways they come about.
Take the editing process for instance.
You’re working on a blog post, and sudden insight strikes you about the writer; or, you’re searching your brain for key phrases and a connection is made you never thought of. When you’re a wordsmith, you’re aware of the major components such as the Oxford comma, or run-on sentences, but some interesting things sneak their way in.
These are the things I’ve noticed.
Learning About the Writer
Words and phrases make up visual and oral communication, and this process defines a large part of the human experience. What we choose to write about reflects back on our individuality.
The writer you edit doesn’t have to be someone else. You can glean details out of your work, and the results are fantastic. We hear about writing as therapy, but editing as therapy goes hand-in-hand with that process.
I’ve found out some interesting things about my friends when I’ve edited their work. Not just word choice, but worldviews, major argument stances, religious affiliations, and psychological backgrounds pop up throughout narrations and plotlines. If you see someone writing about a stalwart mother figure often, what does that say about their view of mother figures?
Simultaneously, if you catch a lot of brunettes in your work, and you take time to mention their hair color, what does that say about your connection to people with brown hair?
Making Esoteric Connections
Do you ever just know something but find it hard to explain how?
For example, while learning Japanese, I came across a specific phrase you shouldn’t say. Not because it was rude, but it just wasn’t something that would come up in conversation. This was hard to explain to my college associate because they didn’t know the language or the culture.
The English equivalent would be asking someone where their sweater was made, not bought, made. It’s not wrong; it’s just strange, right?
During the editing process, I find I pick up more and more of this information about our current society. While this is specific to America, I find international blog postings, pieces of writing, etc., can also influence our knowledge. When you read in-depth, you learn subconsciously the unspoken ideas of a culture.
People communicate most with comfortable topics, and you can learn about these subtle cues through editing.
Along the same thought lines from earlier, when you work on someone’s craft one sentence at a time, you get a glimpse into their mind.
It’s like their voice is in your head, especially if they’re a practiced writer who has found a strong tone.
I feel that even if you’re not an acquaintance, you create a bond with the writer as you comb through their work. Writing is generally a personal endeavor and the act of viewing this artwork signs a mental contract with the other. I’ll show you who I am, even if it’s hidden behind assigned school work or paid advertising.
Basically, the whole writing process is an art form, from start to finish. Once you take up the red pen, you become a part of this creation flow, and it goes beyond the spelling errors or the editing tips; you become a teammate to this other individual. You’re working on something deep together, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
If you’re aware of the connection, you can build some strong friendships overnight, and learn something new.