My Pet Peeves As An Editor

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to edit rough drafts of everything from essays to short stories. What’s worse, I cannot believe how many times I have received a document via email or seen a draft on my desk that’s in serious need of work…to put it nicely. For the record, these are some of the few things that frustrate me as an editor. Is it so hard to follow a few simple rules?

If the papers are dirty, messy, stained, crumpled, etc.

This shows you don’t care and hello, it’s quite disrespectful. I’ll care enough to edit if you care enough to clean up your act and your papers while you’re at it.

If the handwriting is impossible to read.

The easier it is for me to read what you’ve written, the more accurate and valid my feedback will be. Also, unless you really want to test my patience (which you don’t), print neatly instead of making the handwriting too fancy or messy to make for an easy read-through. I’m more likely to spend additional time and effort on something I understand over something that looks rushed. Take extra time to write legibly and I promise I’ll take extra care to edit your work.

If your entire essay is squished together using tiny font, small margins, and narrow spacing.

I prefer bigger font, better use of the page, and double-spacing, especially when I am editing. Feel free to change everything back to your preferences after the editing stage or for the final draft. However, as an editor, I need room to write in corrections, add in suggestions, and fill in feedback. Don’t make me struggle to find space. Don’t make me cram my ideas on your page. At best, you’ll have to squint to read what I wrote. At worst, I’ll forgo extra feedback-giving if I don’t have enough room to do so.

While I’m no expert on editing, I’ve done it more times than necessary to know editors are great as long as writers cooperate. That’s easy enough to remember right? Say it with me. Editors are great as long as writers cooperate. The more you cooperate, the better your editor will be. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to ask your editor how he or she prefers to edit either. Asking cannot hurt you; it will only help you.

Build Relationships Before You Need Them

It’s nice to have someone to turn to when you need a person to be there for you.

It’s nice to receive help when you ask for it.

It’s nice to obtain encouragement, wisdom, or advice in times of desperation.

But this only happens if you build relationships before you need them.

Blog Tour: “Writing Process”

First off, let me apologize about the delay. I feel horrible about postponing this blog tour a week late, but I didn’t want to publish this post until it was polished and as close to perfection as possible. After all, I am a crazy perfectionist.

Thanks to the fantastic and fabulous AR Neal for inviting me to this blog tour.  She is an amazing writer and blogger and an incredible person. If you haven’t already, go check out her blog. Be sure to follow her as well. You will not regret clicking the link. I repeat: click, click, click away. > (starvingactivist.com)

This is a simplified version of how the blog tour works:

  • This is an ongoing tour every Monday, featuring different bloggers each week.
  • You acknowledge the person and site who invited you to the tour.
  • You answer four questions about your writing process (the ones bolded below).
  • You feature three other bloggers, give a tiny blurb about them, and you attach a link to their blog.

Of course, these rules are not set in stone. Sometimes they are modified or *gasp* broken.

Moving on…I shall answer four questions about my writing process. What a great chance for you to pick apart my brains.

What am I working on?

I am currently working on a few essays and short non-fiction pieces. I am not working on a full-length novel at the moment, but I hope to return to writing fiction in the near future. The essays range in topics from competition to public service to rights and freedoms in Canada. Although I am passionate about writing and blogging, law and politics also fascinate me. Perhaps I will share some of my non-fiction stuff here on this blog if anyone is interested or if anyone actually cares. If it isn’t obvious, I work on my blog and I try to make it better every day.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

While I am taking a break from fiction, I must say a lot of the fiction novels and stories I’ve written in the past are based on controversial issues. I tend to tackle topics that are more extreme in nature, revealing aspects of the human nature some people shy away from talking and writing about. Most of my novels do not have a happy ending either. I just think an unhappy ending is more realistic and accurate to real life. I warn you: reading my fiction can cause depression. This explains why I try to add humour in my blog from time to time. It’s a nice balance. Unhappiness and depression mixed with humour and amusement. I’m aware my definition of humour is vastly different from yours. But you can’t hate a girl for trying, can you?

Why do I write what I do?

Aside from enjoying the writing process, I feel as though everyone has a story to tell. And writing is my way of telling these stories. Of course, many of my stories are based on personal experiences that have altered my life forever. One day, I hope people can read what I have to write. But I hope more than anything that people will relate to what I have to say and know they are not alone.

How does your writing process work?

Let me break it down.

  1. An idea hits me in the head.
  2. Said idea complains and bothers me until I write it down.
  3. I write the grand idea down.
  4. I realize the idea is not as grand as I thought.
  5. The idea begs me to continue writing in order to make it better.
  6. This tiny idea turns into a raw, rough draft that could be called a story.
  7. The story sits on my desk or on my computer for a century.
  8. A century later, I look at it again.
  9. I see the flaws.
  10. I fix the flaws.
  11. I rejoice when I finish.
  12. Then I hope to repeat the process again and again.

J.G. Chayko is a writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She loves writing poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. I hope she will share about her writing process because I really want to pick her brains to see how in the world she does it. She has two blogs too. Impressive huh?

You can find her at theoldladyinmybones.com and corkboardsandcoffeehouses.com. So go and give her some love.

Once again, sorry AR Neal for postponing and to everyone else for disappointing. I hope you understand. Also, sorry for breaking the rules. I believe I’m supposed to feature 3 other bloggers, but because J.G. Chayko is amazingly talented, she deserves the spotlight. Don’t hate me. I am only sixteen. Didn’t you make mistakes when you were a teenager? Didn’t you rebel and disobey rules when you were young? Uh-huh. That’s what I thought.

Go show your support now. Give these two wonderful ladies a round of applause for what they do.

I could spend all day thanking people who deserves to be thanked, complimenting people who deserves to be complimented. I hope a generic “thank you” and “you are all wonderful” will do.

Sometimes I Blog Because

Sometimes I blog because I want to forget.

I have to erase the pain. I need to stop thinking about something that is bothering me. Even if it’s only temporarily.

I know that’s bad. I know that’s such a selfish reason to blog.

But sometimes I blog because it’s the only I can feel better and be happier. Is that selfish? For wanting happiness? Especially if that happiness is for myself?

I blog for many reasons. I don’t just blog for myself. I don’t only blog to forget. Sometimes I do. Many times I don’t.

The world is confusing. Life is difficult enough. To make sense of it all, I blog. I write. I can say all the things I can’t say in real life. I share a part of myself with the world on my blog; unedited, raw, personal.

I blog out of fear; I blog out of love.

What I Should Do Versus What I Want To Do

Happy Good Friday!

What I should do:

  • Write
  • Blog
  • Read

What I want to do:

  • Write
  • Blog
  • Read

Don’t you love it when life works out and the things that you should do are the things you want to do?

Have a good Friday on Good Friday.

The 3 Rules Of Being A Writer

I was scrolling through an app (Writer) I have on my Android phone with past ideas and thoughts of mine. And I found this.

The 3 rules of being a writer:

  1. You write.
  2. You don’t break rule number one.
  3. You don’t ever break rule number one and two.

It’s been so long I don’t remember if I shared this before. If I did, oops. If I didn’t, I’m doing my job correctly.

Anyhow, I hope everyone has (or will have) a wonderful day. To whom this may be applicable to, have a wonderful long weekend.

On another note, I’ll be spending this long weekend writing, reading, and blogging. Perhaps, you will too?