Friday, March 14, 2014

You Know You’re Editor Material When . . .

by Edie Melson

I LOVE editing!
I love editing.

To me, it’s the process of bringing order to chaos. It’s not just my own words that I want to make sing, it’s the words of others. I get as much joy when an author I edited succeeds as when I do.

I’ve discovered this isn’t a universal gift. Some would even argue that it's a curse. But you know you’re editor material when . . .

1. Grammar jokes never fail to crack you up—because they’re funny, right?

2. The misuse of quotation marks sends you into a five minute tirade.

3. You mark the mistakes you find—in red pen—in the books you read.

4. You listen to grammar podcasts. After all, those tips and tricks come in handy, right?

5. You could talk for hours about comma usage.

6. You’re constantly clarifying what someone says, because in general, people should be more precise.

7. When you receive handouts in a meeting or workshop, you find yourself marking typos and rewording sentences to tighten it up.

8. You collect pictures of grammar mistakes.

9. Your critique group has nick-named you the Grammar Snob.

10. You know how to use the edit feature on Facebook.

Now it's your turn to add to the list. Be sure to leave your comments in the section below.

Don't forget to join the conversation!



  1. You know you're editor material when your friends give you red pens as birthday gifts, Christmas gifts ... any-old-time gifts -- and you are over-the-moon thrilled!

    1. Oh yes - I LOVE my red pens! Blessings, E

    2. That's great, Beth! It made me laugh out loud. :)

  2. This is funny! I love the editing process in my own work. To me it's where the magic happens. Creating the story is harder for me. Probably, because I can't shut up my inner editor. I'm not so bothered by commas, though. ;o) Misspelled common words are what drive me nut, like they're, there, and their.

  3. When a grammar error in a facebook post immediately nullifies any point the writer was trying to make.

  4. You know you're an editor when you find yourself editing your Instant Messages before sending them.

    (FYI- So laugh i have such editorly friends when I am so...NOT. - If I made you feel the need to edit, you are likely an editor, LOL!)

    1. It takes me FOREVER to send a text because I spend so much time editing. :)

  5. Edie, have you been looking over my shoulder? :) As an editor who loves what she does, I can soooo relate.

  6. I can relate so much, Edie. I used to edit everything my family wrote but they didn't appreciate it. Now I just do it in my head. I can't help it.

  7. ...when you have to physically restrain your right hand when your eyes see an error. It's easy for me to wear my editor hat when I'm teaching...but I have to make my students responsible for something!

  8. Love it! I'm also starting to see signs of this in one of my children, who brings me newspapers and magazines to show me the typos. :)

  9. You know you're an editor when you're looking over the preop instructions for your husband's colonoscopy and realize you're doubting the doctor's competency because of the number of typos and poorly worded sentences. That and when you find yourself editing the Bible. Should I repent for this?

  10. This is awful of me--though I imagine all of us writers do this--but as if I have a split mind, when I read a novel for pleasure, I am constantly editing the writing as I go along, thinking about how I would have written it if I were the author. Occupational hazard, maybe? And I'm sure as you read my run-on first sentence you probably edited it as well :)

  11. You know you're an editor if you rewrite the books you read as you go, and you never fail to find at least one mistake. (If you were ever an English teacher, you are scarred for life...yes, in red ink.)