Maxwell Perkins. Never heard of him? Neither had I until I did a quick search.
I am embarrassed at some of my writing. I sit back and write a few hundred words… Then hit “publish”… Only to come back a day (or hour) later and see the glaring mistakes. It was extra painful this week when I posted the previous article “The Race” and went back later after I shared it. Ugh. About 10 fixes later I felt better about it being read by strangers… Worse yet… Alumni that are probably doing more with their education at PCHS than myself. Based on my report cards… Mrs. Ward was unimpressed with my work in her classes (multiple!), and I am sure my current work, while easier to read than my handwriting in 10th grade, (“I have some poems on restlessness in my binder, ya want to see them?”) is equally filled with cringworthy mistakes and grammar.
Thanks to ubiquitous tech… Spelling is no longer the problem. Its the grammar. I know the difference between There/Their/They’re… But sometimes you get carried away with the sentence and the rules are left in the dust of the moment. Another one that gets me is Pronouns. Writing in a passive voice always makes me feel like I am writing for a congregation… Writing in first person makes me feel like a Penthouse forum letter. (Shame on you if you get that)
It led me to ask… “Did Hemingway have an editor?” (yeah… I just did that… I loosely associated Hemingway’s craft with this blog!) Thats where Perkins name came up. Apparently Papa, F. Scott and many others relied on Perkins’ judgement to strip down stories to fit the space allotted.
I need that guy! I have a 2000 word article on replacing a viscous cooling fan clutch just sitting in my google docs because I dont want to submit it before its thoroughly cleaned and made readable! Also…It would help if I could find a video editor… I have hours and hours of video from our trail team trips that need to be chopped and made view-able.
The gig economy offers some assistance with the bonus of being a international exchange rate value. Last year, I paid 15 dollars on Fiverr to edit one of my articles about a Trail Team trip out west. I think he name was Sven. Sven reviewed the article… Said it sounded like a fun trip… And then ran off with my 15 bucks. Great work Sven. I think the adage, you get what you pay for, holds up on any format. Digital or real-life.
I have also done some wild and crazy stuff like reading newsletters by other bloggers who write about “how to write”. Free blogger advice. Again, you get what you pay for??? Who knows. I enjoy this blog by KL Wightman (see below)… But she might be a pen-name for some dude in Serbia who is just learning English. (Exaggeration to be sure, but you never know)
Moral of the story… For you and me… You get what you pay for! This is a free blog with nonsensical musings from me. If I made you pay for it… I’d hire an editor.