I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Gilbert is of course the author of the mega-hit Eat Pray Love. I enjoyed this other book by her even more than the bestseller. Her take on the creative process can be helpful for writers as well as for those in other creative fields or for those who just enjoy being creative.
If you are thinking about publishing something or are already part of the world, some of Gilbert’s observations and advice could be quite helpful. I’d recommend you read this book.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
On the creativity that lives within you and how to get it into the world:
And you have treasures hidden within you — extraordinary treasures — and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing these treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think small. (p. 27)
On getting over perfectionism:
We must understand that drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. (p. 169)
On actually producing something creative (and not just tinkering forever!):
You do what you can do, as competently as possible within a reasonable time frame, and then you let it go. (p. 177)
Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. (p. 237)
Recently, I read The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller. Saller is a copyeditor at the University of Chicago Press, home of the celebrated stylebook, now in its seventeenth edition. She also manages the question and answer feature on the stylebook’s website, which has been a huge resource to me over the years. I’ve followed happenings at the University of Chicago for quite some time — since the fourteenth edition!
I wholeheartedly agree with Saller’s take on copyediting and the Chicago philosophy in general. One of the sentences in the opening pages of the book sums it up perfectly:
Your first goal isn’t to slash and burn your way through [the manuscript] in an effort to make it conform to a list of style rules. (p. 7)
Unless you want someone to change your work radically (which I would suggest is substantive editing, not copyediting), this lighter and sensible approach to copyediting should put you at ease. When you hand over a manuscript for copyediting, you feel the work is in pretty good shape and that it needs some fact-checking and smoothing (and, in many cases, formatting help for references and bibliographies).
So remember that unless you are submitting an article for a publication with strict guidelines or your work needs a lot of retooling, the copyediting process should be pretty gentle.
Before the clock strikes midnight tonight, I wanted to reflect on my freelance work this year. Thanks to a lot of great clients, I have worked on many different types of projects for the last 12 months. Without further ado, here is my year by the numbers:
- 36 articles written for Healthline
- 13 permissions projects managed (a handful with 100+ permissions needed)
- 12 journal manuscripts copyedited
- 6 books copyedited or proofread
- 5 projects completed in my “other” category, including ghostwriting, copywriting, writing coaching, and more
I’ve used The Chicago Manual of Style, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and the MLA Handbook this year, as well as many other house style guides.
Thanks to everyone who has made this year successful for Silver Scribe Editorial Services. Truly, I am grateful for the work and your support!
My 2018 family vacation is just wrapping up, and I am excited to return to the world of editing and writing after a few weeks away from the computer screen. I have been lucky to have a lot of interesting projects in 2018 so far, and I am looking forward to what will come my way as the year advances.
The projects I’ve completed in this calendar year include the typical copyediting, proofreading, and writing tasks, but I’ve also been securing permissions for several large textbooks as well. I love having variety in my weekly and monthly calendar, so keep me in mind for whatever publishing services you need.
I continue to work with several publishing clients, including independent, academic, and trade publishers as well as individuals who need writing, editing, and communications services. I appreciate your referrals to others who are facing the daunting task of editing a dissertation, blogging regularly, retooling a website, or trying to write a book. It’s a pleasure to help people achieve their publishing aspirations.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I hope you are in the middle of a good book and relishing these more leisurely days of the year as I just did. When you are ready to get back to work, I’ll be here!
Welcome to 2018! After a week off with family and friends, I am ready to get to work. There are lots of file folders on my desk waiting for me to crack open. January will be a busy month for editing, writing, and requesting permissions for several different clients. I am fully revved up and ready to go!
I want to thank all of my clients who made 2017 an incredible success for Silver Scribe Editorial Services. I had the pleasure of working with many different clients on a host of different projects. Some included:
- Writing articles
- Drafting copy for websites
- Requesting permissions
Two weeks ago, Healthline, one of my clients, sent me a email summarizing the work I did in 2017, and it is a great motivator for my year ahead. In total, I wrote 56 articles for the health website and attracted more than 2 million sessions to the site! My number-one article was “15 Ways to Get Rid of Hives” (https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/how-to-get-rid-of-hives).
I hope you had a great 2017 and are looking at 2018 with a fresh and promising view. Let me know if you need any help with publishing projects, including writing, editing, proofreading, or other edidtorial work.
I realize that January is halfway over, but I wanted to post a review of 2016. Last year was hugely successful for me as a freelance writer and editor, so I wanted to mark the occasion by running my work by the numbers. Without further ado:
- Number of clients: 13
- Number of books copyedited or proofread: 6
- Number of journals copyedited: 10
- Number of articles written: 50
- Number of huge nursing education textbooks or supplemental materials edited: 3
- Number of dissertations edited: 2
- Number of individual clients who I collaborated with on resumes, websites, and marketing copy: 7
And here are a few approximate numbers, just for fun’s sake:
- Number of times I reviewed a style book (including Chicago, APA, and AP): 5,000
- Number of times I looked up a term in Merriam-Webster: 7,000
Thank you to all of my clients who keep me working so hard year-round. I am lucky to be in this profession, and as a lifelong learner and avid reader, working on a variety of topics couldn’t be more thrilling.
You know it’s been a busy time when finished journals and books and links to your online work flood your doorstep and email inbox. In fact, I’ve been so focused on current work that I haven’t had a chance to share these finished projects here.
These completed works include two issues of academic journals I regularly copyedit, one book I copyedited under a pretty quick deadline, and two books I proofread back in July.
Additionally, Healthline recently published two new articles I wrote back in August:
This fall continues to fly by with new projects to tackle, but please let me know if any of my publishing services may help you.
I just wanted to drop in and share some recent articles I wrote for Healthline.
Summer has been busy: writing articles, editing journals and books, and lining up future projects. Please let me know if you have any writing or editing needs this fall. I’d love to help you out!
I shared some praise I received earlier this week, and I thought I should post this too. Editing can be a pretty solitary (and critical) profession at times, so I’ll take the compliments when they come.
You have been a godsend! Such a pleasure to work with you during this unexpected marathon edition.
This pertains to a months-long project I contributed to and just wrapped up this week. So happy to have completed this baby! Look for the ninth edition of a thirty-two chapter nursing textbook in the coming months–ha!
It’s nearing the end of July, and we’ve got a heatwave in Philadelphia. I’m beating the sweltering weather during these dog days in the central air, as I wrap up several projects with impending deadlines.
Here’s what I’ve been working on for the last few months:
- Contributing to finalizing chapters of a nursing textbook, including finding art and editing references
- Coding and finalizing chapters for another nursing textbook
- Editing a graduate-level dissertation on neuroscience and information technology
- Copyediting journals on Mormon history and music education
- Proofreading a book on the physics of nothing and a small gift book on the virtues of Christmas
- Reviewing updated resumes
- Writing articles on diabetes, yoga, gluten free diets, and other health subjects
When I’m not working, I’m balancing this docket of work with some pretty breezy summer reads–mostly celebrity memoirs. It’s fun to take a peek into some icons of our present day, including some pretty funny ladies who’ve enjoyed success at Saturday Night Live and beyond.