As it turns out, I never wrote about The Good Ship Whimsy. I never got that tattoo, either. Shortly after my last post, I discovered that the two editing classes I’d signed up for were, in fact, quite serious classes. They came with quite serious workloads. I realized I had a choice: get serious or fall seriously behind.
I’m a veteran litigation paralegal, and I’m used to working long hours on cases. Most people might think it’s odd to stay up past midnight thumbing through hefty books to find arcane rules about adverbs and hyphenation, but it’s not that different from searching civil procedure about a filing.* Part of me felt instantly at home.
The other part of me missed sleeping at night.
Looking back, I suppose I had a third option. I could have done the sane thing and dropped one of the classes. But I wanted to know what would happen if I dove into editing fiction for real. After all, there will always be tight deadlines and last-minute complications. I wanted to know if I could edit flawlessly in an (artificial) perfect storm. Before I started my new fiction-editing business, I wanted to see if I could swim. Turns out, I can: I came up for air at the end of those classes clutching an A and an A+. More importantly, I loved it. Even when I was squinting at The Chicago Manual of Style at two in the morning.
Getting serious about editing didn’t leave me much time for writing. My unfinished stories are stuffed in files around my office, impatiently waiting for me. I hope to pay more attention to them once my editing certificate program ends next month. In the meantime, I’ll be making some changes to this website to showcase my editing. (I apologize for any dust, loud banging noises, or other odd things that may show up in your RSS feed over the next few weeks.)
But, wait! Why did sign up for two editing classes in the first place? What’s all this about a fiction-editing business? More on that soon…
* A complex process that involves looking through the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the state rules of civil procedure, the local court or agency rules, and the stated preferences of the given judge to find out whether, for example, each of the twelve copies of the filing due tomorrow should be stapled or paper-clipped. (Sometimes ten are stapled, one is loose-leaf in an envelope, and one is double-sided and two-hole-punched with a large rubber band around it. Get it wrong and the clerk will reject your filing. Hey, nobody said law was easy.)