As I sit on the MAX on my way into Portland, I flip through the pages of my beat-up copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Every few stops, I find myself glancing up from the pages to look around at the passengers who are coming and going from the train on its way into the city. I notice an older man is fast asleep while the woman next to him stares out the window, a mother reties her son’s shoes, and a young man in a college hoodie taps his feet to the beat of whatever tune must be playing in his headphones. While I flip another page, I notice that I’m the only passenger in the car who is reading a book, while the majority of other passengers keep their eyes glued to their phones.
In today’s increasingly digital world, there is no shortage of tips and tricks for writers (think of online grammar checkers like Grammarly). But what about digital tools for editors? In addition to the obvious editing and query tools found in Microsoft Word, it turns out that macros can be incredibly useful tools for editors.
While I’ve read and continue to read numerous books on the art of editing and writing, I find myself most frequently leaning on an editing tip that was thrown at me way back in high school. Read it out loud.
This particular teaching press is Ooligan, and at Ooligan, there is no such thing as sink or swim (even if the first day feels a little like being pushed face-first into the deep end). So sit back and relax while I lay out some sage advice on how to negotiate this crazy, awesome journey of experiential learning.
I’ve only ever applied to two colleges in my life. Which, if you know me at all, will seem like a drastic deviance from my general personality. You might say, based on this knowledge, that I’ve “always known what I want to do” or that I’m “really good at making decisions.” The first one less than the second but really, neither apply.
The compilation edit is unique to the operations of our teaching press, but coordinating this type of edit has been an invaluable learning experience for me as an editing professional. Editorial work is often more of a flexible art than a task that follows a standard procedure, as there are many ways to work with an author to bring out the best in their work.