Today the most important word seems to be ‘fun’. You may have failed on a project, but ‘did you have fun’? You may have been kicked off Project Runway, but ‘I had fun!’ And if that is the bar by which we measure our dreams – then I say editing is way more fun. Playing with words and spotting the mistakes of others is much easier than writing your own words.
But what if we changed our viewpoint from ‘fun’ to ‘important’? What is more important – editing or writing? I almost have to say – editing. There are millions of writers, but how many editors? Not millions (I don’t think).
I recently registered on Upwork.com for writing and editing jobs. They used to be eLance.com and I worked for them for a year or so. I worked some very low paying jobs in order to gain experience, references and 5 stars for every job I worked. There are tests you can take in order to prove you have the knowledge you say you have.
The other morning I had about 20 minutes before we left for church. I thought, “I’ll whip one of these tests out real quick.” I chose a spelling test. I’m good at spelling. Even though I had little time to take the test, I was very careful in choosing my answers. By the last question, I was positive I’d be getting 100%. Sound the buzzer. I failed the test miserably. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t retake the test until next month, but my mind is buzzing with questions. Mostly – what the heck? I’ll tell you ‘what the heck’ – pride goes before the fall – that’s what. Next time I approach a test, I’ll do humbly and with respect.
Then there is the delightful journey Beatrice Potter mentions. You really don’t know where those first few words are going to take you. The journey is the blessing, not the completed book. Many writers are also editors because of the money issue. Very few writers make what we call ‘a good living’. Income is supplemented by editing.