Saturday, December 30, 2017

Knows not where [s]he's going to...

I'm not cut out to be an editor.

My plan was to go to school, gain an English degree, become an editor to pay the bills, and write my own novels on the side.

And then I took Editing and Proofreading.

The class itself was great. I learned a lot, including that I don't want to be an editor anymore.
Before I continue, let me explain the different types of editors that we learned about:

These are the different types of editors that will work on books, but there are also editors who work on technical manuals, websites, and anything else you can think of with words that people will read. All of these editors have something in common, however: they work with style guides.
A style guide is used by publishing houses and other companies to make sure that everything they publish has internal grammatical consistency. In class, for example, we proofread an already-published book from Bethany House Publishers (BHP). BHP has their own style guide which dictates whether three dots in an ellipses is correct or if four dots are needed, whether or not orange-red needs a hyphen, and other nitpicky details.

THIS is why I don't want to be an editor anymore. They say the devil is in the details, and they (whomever they may be) are right. I consider myself detail-oriented, focused, and patient, but I simply don't like making sure that every comma is compliant with each other and with a publishing house's style guide.
I do not enjoy paging—or, in the case of modern technology, clicking—through a style guide to find out whether or not the publishing house wants to capitalize "He" when referring to God.
Although I enjoyed having the power to change organization, sentence structure, and even paragraph organization during our substantive and copy editing projects, I did not enjoy having to decide if strange sentence construction was distracting or if it was simply the author's voice.
I don't like how impersonal it is. Sometimes, an editor never talks directly with the author. If the editor does talk with the author, he or she is supposed to be polite but anything more is not encouraged. I understand that... after all, editing is, in a way, a business transaction. Like any business transaction, it should be polite and detached. But if I love an author's work, I want to tell them that. I want to become their friend and learn what was in their head when they thought of a particular scene or character. I want to tell everyone how much I loved their work. I want to work with them again. More often than not, however, editors and authors don't stick together, especially if the editor is freelancing (a.k.a. not working with a publishing house or company).

So, I'm not cut out to be an editor. As the song says, I "know not where [I'm] going to." If I'm not to be an editor, what am I to do? I asked a very similar question three-and-a-half years ago when I discovered that I was not cut out to be a full time, wage-earning youth/worship leader. It took me over a year to process that discovery, but at the end of that year plus, I decided to go to school to get an English degree. I'm not regretting that decision in the slightest, as I love love LOVE my department and what I'm studying.
But, I also don't know what I want to do with my degree once I graduate, especially since I've added a history minor and what in the world does one do with an English/History/Bible degree in this day and age?? Become a professor, I suppose. I don't know if that's what I want to do, but it's an option that I need to think and pray about.

I don't graduate for two-and-a-half years, so I have lots of time to think and pray.

What about you? What do you want to be when you grow up (even if you are already grown up, you can still answer!)? Have you ever had your plans derailed? How did you set the train back on the tracks again? Leave me a comment and let me know; I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Five Things I Learned About Myself This Semester

1. My body needs at least eight hours of sleep every night.

That's my bed way at the top, two feet away from the ceiling. No, I never rolled out during the night. Yes, we did move it down a few notches for next semester.
This is a lesson I learned spring semester after sleeping an average of seven hours every night and being constantly cranky and sick. This semester, I set myself a loose goal of getting eight hours of sleep every night—or at least to go to bed earlier. My friend and roommate wanted to get more sleep, too, so together we were able to be in bed before eleven most nights. Even if I didn't sleep for eight hours, I made sure to be in bed at least eight hours a night. I was mostly successful, except for the week or two leading up to finals!

2. I like to cook and clean more than I thought.

In addition to having a full kitchen this year, I have a George Foreman and a freezer full of meat. I also have a dining fund that is significantly smaller than last year. I had to prepare a lot of my own meals, and I quite enjoyed experimenting with potatoes and eggs. I even made myself a vat of chicken soup! I surprised myself with how much I like cooking (when I wasn't stressed by other commitments). I also surprised myself with how much I like cleaning up my messes, too. There's something satisfying about seeing the tangible results of wiping up spilled salsa or scrubbing the soap grime off of the bathtub.

3. Listening to live music and walking by water make me happy and calm when I am sad and stressed.

I took a walking class this past semester that reminded me of how much I enjoy walking. Luckily, I live in the land of 10,000 lakes, so there is plenty of beauty around me to look at while I get exercise. Next semester, I want to continue walking several times a week. I also want to continue taking advantage of the concerts and plays that my school puts on while I am still a student and can get them for free! They make me feel alive.

4. I don't take risks if it involves making mistakes or risking confrontation.

This picture has nothing to do with confrontation, but it makes me laugh so I thought I'd share it.
I'm just not a risky person. I learned this through my internship. I was too timid to follow through with many of my ideas because I was afraid they would be taken badly. Next semester, my plan is to take more risks... because if I don't take risks, how will I ever make mistakes? And if I never make mistakes, how will I ever grow?

5. I'm not cut out to be an editor.

Yeah, I'm surprised, too. After all, one reason I chose the college I did was because they had an editing and proofreading class! I took said class this past semester and... really didn't like it all that much. I mean, the class was great, like most classes at my school, but I didn't enjoy the work. So, now I'm at a loss. If I'm not to be an editor, what am I to be?

I don't know, but I've got time to figure it out.

In my next post, I want to talk more about my editing class and share the things I learned and why I don't want to be an editor anymore. Stay tuned for that!

Until then, have you learned anything about yourself in the past few months?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

In My Life

I'm on Winter Break, which means that I'm back from hiatus!! Hurrah!

This semester has been a walk in the cold wind of a Minnesota winter, when you simultaneously enjoy God's beautiful creation and hate your life because your face has frozen.

In August, I moved into a dorm-apartment, fully furnished with plumbing and moisture problems, a couch with a "chastity bar" in between each cushion, and a full kitchen...

In September, the English Department had a picnic...

In October, some friends and I went to an opera showcase in the rain...

Photo credit: Andrea

and to an apple orchard in the sun...

In November, the English Department had an English Tea...

Photo credit: Professor Hougen

and I got to meet Maggie Stiefvater...

In December, we went on an overnight trip to Duluth...

and the English Department had a Gatsby-themed Christmas party!

The main part of my days, however, was spent balancing seventeen credits of classes, one credit of internship, a job as a TA, cooking, cleaning, health, and mental health. I wasn't able to balance these things as well as I'd hoped, so this Winter Break I want to come up with a plan to be a better human in the spring. I learned several things about myself this school year, but I want to save that for my next post.
This post is just to catch you up on the last few months of my life, and to let you know that I am back in the blogging world!


Are you excited for Christmas? What are you doing for the holidays? Let me know in the comments! I want to hear from you all!