I wrote a farewell piece to a chef and a restaurant that closed at the end of the year. The place is just a few blocks from where I live. Craig and I probably ate there once a week over the last five years. Cozy ambiance, friendly staff, amazingly delicious food: It was hard to say goodbye.
Eugene’s scrappy weekly (slogan: We’ve got issues) published the piece, and it got a fine edit from Camilla Mortensen.
- Everybody needs an editor.
- I am longwinded at the beginning, essentially clearing my throat with way more wordage than actually needed.
My writing group can also be good for this reminder. At our last meeting, the first 600 or so words of a short story I’m working on did not pass muster. But the writing group can be ignored. (What the heck do these veteran and well-published writers know?) The editor of an actual publication cannot be. I confess I mentally harrumphed at Camilla’s notes, but once I made the changes I agreed with her. So, um, on that short story…back to the drawing board.
Being edited also reminds me of the overlap between beginner’s mind, where we are at play, and expert’s mind, where we employ the skills we’ve honed while at play.
Photo above by writer/editor/photographer/friend Bob Keefer. (If you don’t know Bob’s work, do yourself a favor and check out his web site.)