|This picture has nothing to do with this text and any editor would advise not putting it with this post. ;)|
A week into it, I sent this text to writer Joanna Goddard: Hey--we just started a new editing system at Elizabeth Street where I submit my posts two days early and two editors fix the hell out of it. It's awesome. I love their edits. I always agree with them, especially when they take out all my exclamation marks!!! But at the same time, I've started to doubt myself as a writer. No sentence goes untouched. Is this a totally normal process?
She responded: Totally normal. When I was an editor years ago, my boss told me, only change things when you're making it *better*, not just making it *different*. Thought it was great advice although most editors don't follow it!
I had to include Joanna's thoughts here so I never forget. Especially after what happened with my Bully Book Round-Up. It's an extreme example, but clearly shows the difference between what I submit and what gets published. Everything from my title to the last word got changed. I think there's good things in both texts, but I like the published/edited version better. It's more streamlined, coherent and professional. Mine version gets clunky at times. Check out the difference below. Do you agree with the edits?
HEAD: Bully Book Roundup
DEK: Gaining perspective of bullies, bystanders, and victims through literature.
When I hear the word bully, I usually think of a big kid who punches a little kid for lunch money. However, according to StopBullying.gov, a bully can be so much more. As long as someone has the intention to hurt and they do it repetitively, it’s considered bullying. This includes someone who gossips, ignores, gives dismissive looks, or leaves someone out on purpose. While some adults might brush these interactions as a normal part of childhood, we now know these situations can lead to anxiety, loneliness, and even depression. To help my children (and myself!) have a more rounded view of bullying, I searched for books that didn’t have the typical lunch money stealing character. Hopefully after a trip to the library, my kids will learn all the complicated roles bullying can play in their life and understand what it takes to overcome these challenges. —Sharon Beesley
The published version:
HEAD: The Bullies of Books
DEK: Stories to teach your children about bullying
Bullies are a bit of a hot topic right now. While adults once brushed off hostile schoolyard interactions as a normal part of childhood, we're now beginning to realize the gravity of these situations. Bullying can lead to serious anxiety and depression, not to mention long-term behavioral problems that last well into adulthood. To educate my children (and myself), I searched for books that examined a range of bullying behavior. Hopefully, after a few trips to the library, my children will have a better understanding of the complicated roles bullies can play and find themselves more prepared to overcome the challenge should they find themselves in a situation. —Sharon Beesley
So what did I do when I saw the published version? I let it go. Once I summit my posts, I feel like they are out of my hands. I'm sure I could request certain things be put back in, but haven't had to ask yet. I'm loving the opportunity to look like a stronger writer as the editors do their thang. I'm sure there's a slight power trip (and snickering?! ;) involved when they rewrite my sentences for clarity or find grammatical errors. Being an editor must feel so satisfying at times, like finishing a puzzle. I'm so grateful for them. I'm getting used to their edits and style.
PS: Speaking of bullies--I bought the book Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness for Ella but forgot to put it on the list. WE LOVE IT!!