A Good Editor is Hard to Find

Have you ever wonder who reads my posts before they go public? Who listens to nascent blog ideas when they’re in the word-vomit stage? On this one year blogiversary, I would be remiss if I did not publicly thank two of my friends who are also my editors. The Part-Time Diary would not exist without them. Or, it might exist, but with more excessive semi-colons, half-finished ideas, and IDEAS IN ALL CAPS THAT I WRITE TO MYSELF AS NOTES AND WOULD FORGET TO DELETE IF SOMEONE DIDN’T TELL ME TO.

(see? that sentence ends in a preposition. Too bad I can’t run my post about my editors by my editors).

Ronnie

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Not many people are good editors. Many people like to read quickly and carelessly. Some are just interested in telling you what you want to hear. Some are more concerned with talking about themselves than what’s on the page in front of them. But when you find people who deeply engage with your work, catch your grammar errors, and champion your growth as a writer, you better hang on to them.

This is my best friend from college and one of my editors, Ronnie. She reads all day. Specifically, in her publishing job, she browses manuscripts about fishing, horse vitamins, and knots (as well as other myriad hilarious subjects). As if that wasn’t enough, she sends me back all of my blog drafts within twenty-four hours. She never gets tired of reminding me that you need a capital letter after a semicolon, and that “they” is not an acceptable substitute for “his/her/hir.”

More importantly, Ronnie believes in my work. She loves me, but she also loves me enough to let me know what’s not working or that I really shouldn’t publish that treacly piece I wrote about an Adele song. And good friends don’t always make good editors. I just got fortunate that this one likes to do it for a living.

Janika

This is my alma gemela Janika, and this is my favorite photo of her.

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Janika has heard excessively about this blog since it was first an idea in the back of my head. She has an endless supply of tolerance for my sentences that begin “So for my next blog post…” She has a lot of patience, to say the least.

Also, she has a strongly calibrated bullshit meter that goes off when I write problematic sentences. She makes sure my tone is in check while still encouraging me to be my sassy self. I would offend way more people than I do if it weren’t for Janika’s gentle editing.

Tactful as she is, Janika encourages me to write about things that scare me. She was in favor of my post “Giving Up the Ghost” even when I was convinced I couldn’t write about it. She supports my vulnerability and makes it possible for me to share difficult things with the world.

I put all of the things for Janika to look at in a Google Drive folder called “The Folder of Love and Criticism.” I’m thankful not only for her, but for all of the technology that makes our international friendship possible. I cannot wait to hold her in my arms again.

And thanks to you, readers. Thank you for being interested in what I write. Thank you for keeping me honest when I mess up. Thank you for finding any and all points of connection between our experiences. Here’s to another year of reading, writing, and thinking together.

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