Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
I've been wondering lately if I should give up on graphics as a significant part of my career and focus on writing and editing. I'm not sure if it's that I've got more natural talent for it or if there's just less of a battle against the demands of ever-changing technology, but line up all the wordsmiths and designers in the world according to skill, and I'd be closer to the front in the first queue. Unfortunately, it's the graphics part of my job that I enjoy the most. I can lose myself in it and stay engrossed for hours, whereas I find I need frequent breaks from editing.
Anyway, I loved the article's depiction of the copy editor as singlemindedly passionate about her craft and her authors' craft and about the standards of excellence she was called to uphold. I like the depiction of her ferocity. And though the article doesn't really touch on it, it reminds me of my own philosophy of editing: The editor is the prophet of the standards and the servant of the words, of the author, and of the reader. The Christian editor is also the servant of God. Editors go awry when they confusedly think they are gods, they are the ones to be served. I've fallen into that sin in the past, and am very watchful for signs of irritability when I am editing. "Fer cryin' out loud...how many times do I have to tell him not to...?" is a red flag -- I'm thinking he's my servant rather than the other way around.
It's a joy to work with mature writers who appreciate my editorial ministrations. It's pleasant to work with more timid writers who need a gentler hand but are generally receptive of my encouragement and correction. It's humbling and challenging to work with proud authors who are easily offended by red marks, but who must be treated with respect. They are among the harsh masters of 1 Peter 2:18. It's a blast to work with young student writers who've been well trained to receive criticism and don't collapse when pushed. I've been known to send them this and this on occasion. It's a bummer to get it wrong -- to misgauge an author's expected reaction and come across as offensive rather than helpful or cheerful or whatever else I was aiming for. But every case is a training ground for love -- a context in which to learn patience, kindness and the rest.
Alas, today there is nothing either to edit or to design. I am in thumb-twiddling mode, doing some training on lynda.com, catching up on my A Word A Day e-mails, and writing blog posts, which I really shouldn't be doing (speaking of 1 Peter 2)....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2:55 PM