Writing Tips

An Ordinary Day Editing Romance

Goal for the day: Edit 100 pages of overdue manuscript.

7:45: Roll out of bed. Out the door by 8:06. I know, 21 minutes to get ready is amazing. I’m a brat about commuting so  I figure if I’m half asleep, it’s better for fellow commuters. It takes me 10 minutes to get to work. When I lived further uptown, my commute was at least an hour–still not bad at all. Some of my colleagues commute almost 2 hours each way, every day.

8:30: I work on the back cover copy of the four books I oversee from month to month. I also review the Front Sales (or Page One), which is usually a catchy scene. Then I approve the author bios, book lists, dedications and send to our copyediting team. This takes a while since we usually rewrite copy to get wording just right. In addition, a lot of fact-checking is involved.

10:00: Mass phone meeting where I learn more about a side of the business I don’t usually encounter.

11:00: Because I’m old school, I edit first on paper. This kills many trees and I’m sure I’ll wind up in a fiery chamber underground. But it saves my eyes at the same time that it adds a couple hours to my workload. I spend a good chunk of the day transferring my paper notes into our editing program. While I do this, I listen to this movie‘s soundtrack. So relaxing!

Noon: I realize I forgot to change into my fancy shoes. This is an idle thought. I don’t do anything about it. Silently figure I can get through the day in comfortable shoes and I don’t need to look taller. Run out to get Valentine’s Day cards (b/c Papyrus store downstairs is my drug of choice) and lunch. Back to editing program until 2-ish.

2:00: Restless wandering of halls, running little errands. The long walk to the mailroom is good exercise. To up my FitBit numbers, I do this at least twice. I also grab some of our new books, which have arrived on the communal bookshelf. I  socialize, touch base.

I get three compliments on my sweater, which I’d worried was either hideous or gorgeous. Verdict: gorgeous.

3:00: Department meeting, which is pleasantly boisterous (informative, too, of course) and lasts until I have to go home.

How many pages did I edit on the overdue manuscript? 0. Guess what I’m doing today?

me in H office

3 thoughts on “An Ordinary Day Editing Romance”

  1. Patience, your days sound a lot like mine only with fewer spreadsheets. Do you ever have to keep track of ISBNs, inventory, manuscript due dates, or sales results? That’s where the true glamour of editorial lies!

    1. Hi, Priscilla! I try not to think about the number crunching aspect, but I do handle some of that. It’s not my favorite. But I do like scheduling books and seeing which ones would go together in certain months.

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