Somewhere, I suspect the gods are grinning gleefully, as my ‘red pen ways’ came back to bite. In my later teaching years I had progressed to green or black pen, but nevertheless heavily inflicting annotations on unsuspecting students. Somehow it seems just that I should now be on the receiving end of the ubiquitous red pen. Literally.
In recent months I’ve tried my hand at book writing and initially been somewhat abashed by the quantity of the editor’s amendments to my manuscript. Many made sense; some offended my stylistic sensibilities. Ultimately, I decided that my task was to write and the editor’s to edit – a decision that seemed a satisfactory resolution on both sides.
Most rewarding has been the learning from this ‘new trick’ of authoring – about the publishing process, but also about my own writing habits and practice. It’s becoming a more conscious approach where I caution myself against unnecessary verbiage (like that!) and where I accommodate an audience not immersed in my jargon-laden educational world. Quite salutary, even liberating.
The end result? Well, we shall see when it reaches bookstores (minus the red pen)… but rewarding regardless.