Editing is the best, except when it isn’t.
Today, we spent a lot of time going over all the things we had done so far — written articles, videos, photos — in preparation for putting them up on the website. It’s interesting to see how much we’ve been able to learn about all of those things with only a few days of practice and instruction, but it’s even more interesting to watch some of our best efforts get ruthlessly pared down by the professors and the Newsday and Patch editors who have been helping us finalize our work.
I’ve been an editor at my school paper for a year, and I will gleefully cross out entire paragraphs or obliterate ranks of overly written boringly stated needlessly redundant words with wild abandon. I feel a little bad about it, but that doesn’t mean I have to publish a piece when there’s a semicolon in the wrong place.
But I (foolishly) feel different about my own work. It can be hard to accept criticism — even of the constructive sort — when it’s as something as personal as writing being criticized, and sometimes I feel like arguing with other people’s corrections even when they are totally justified in making them. It’s nice to be reminded, as I was today, that my work is as prone to errors as anyone’s, and that it’s so much better to have a well-edited piece than one that’s compleatlly flu of misteaks.