Thursday, August 25, 2005


Sometimes I wonder if I am really an impostor as a writer. I say on my profile that I am a "freelance writer/editor"--because it sounds more glamorous than "homemaker," maybe?--but although the freelance editor title is somewhat reasonable (I still do work off and on for Kingdom Building Ministries), when's the last time I ever did a single freelance writing project? When's the last time I even did any sort of real writing on this blog besides posting pictures, life updates, and the occasional little blurb about a passage of Scripture I've been reading? Nothing too introspective, which is actually surprising given the idea that I am typically a very introspective and pensive person.

In college, I did a lot of writing because I was forced to. I was a writing major, after all, and always had prompts and deadlines of some sort thrust into my lap. I had no choice but to be productive. And I did come up with some stuff I liked, though it was often an agonizing night spent at the computer to pull something--anything--together. Since college, I've written almost nothing.

Then I started thinking about my desire to be an editor. Right now that's pretty much my "dream job," to work as an editor in a publishing house. But why would anyone want to be an editor? A few reasons:
-she is anal-retentive about grammar and spelling (true)
-she is a perfectionist and has a good eye for catching mistakes (also true)
-she enjoys reading and simply has a love for words (yes, that's me)

But could it also be:
-she can't write her own stuff; it's easier to work on the writing that others produce? Is she afraid of failing? or just too lazy to try? or none of the above?

I do love editing for more than just the above reasons. Through peer-editing my classmates' essays in college writing classes, and working with staff writers at our campus newspaper, I discovered the joy of enabling someone else to produce their best possible work. I love to take the seed of something great that someone else has come up with and bring it to full flower; so many people have great ideas but muffle them with average writing, struggling to turn them into something really wonderful. I like to uncover that seed of an idea, to scribble my comments all over the margins of a poem or an essay, and to watch the person really make it grow.

But perhaps part of that stems from the reality that I feel I have no good ideas, no talent for producing something from scratch. Perhaps I fall back on editing because it's easier, safer. Perhaps I like the title of "writer," but I'm really just an impostor.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Okay well all of that really makes me want to continue my goals of being a journalist/English major .. OR NOT! Although I do have a few good moments when I can write something that makes a little sense, most of my work is pretty useless and will never amount to anything. So maybe I should consider doing something else in life ... and then I don't have to worry about being an imposter later in life! :-)