After you’ve edited the 300th piece of animal-related writing, you go a little feral. I thought I'd give the blog readers a chance to get a glimpse of the editor in its natural environment.
Stay quiet when you enter the editor’s habitat. We are a naturally wary bunch and can be skittish. Loud noises can cause quite a disruption. If you can enter unnoticed, you’ll see them engaged in their daily grooming routine, snatching up a stray fragment here, picking out an unneeded comma there.
The editor is a special organism. Some people may call it a parasite, living off the work of others to survive. Perhaps, but the relationship between editor and writer is more of a symbiotic one, ultimately mutually beneficial.
Like most wild animals, we are skeptical yet curious of all new things introduced into our environment. We poke and prod at the new item, seek out its weaknesses, and assess its value.
We are protective of our young. We help the baby manuscripts take their first wobbly steps. In nonfiction, we arm them with the truth. We help them get stronger and leaner and eventually make their own way in the world. Some of them are our own word-babies, while most are foster children, placed in our care for help and guideance.
We follow the cycles of our natural world. It’s not the sun or the moon, but the rising and setting of the deadline that drives us. Most of us are diurnal, but you will find the nocturnal among us as we approach deadline, scurrying to get all our nuts in the warehouse.
And, like all animals, we are sensitive to any change in our habitat. Every part is interconnected. The circle of lit is a delicate thing. No manuscript yet? The temperature has risen a few degrees. The cover art isn’t done? The ice floes are melting! One could take the metaphor further and talk about the larger symbiotic relationship that is the entire book development group, but that's another post...
Thank you for taking a trip into the wilds of Capstone. If you are now feeling a little feral, here are some animal and nature books to satisfy the urge for the wild life.
Gillia Olson, Managing Editor