Thursday, April 24, 2008


Nothing in this game is more satisfying than editing something once it has been formatted for publication. The document was just as real when it was a lowly Word file in a sub-folder of My Documents on my computer, but when it is immersed in the little idiosyncrasies of its resting spot, it becomes a bit realer - like, oh this is actually happening. It's a mechanical progression that allows you pull out of writing's narcissistic cocoon to view the even more ostentatious butterfly down the line.

Once I'm finished writing the content, I am tempted to get a single copy of my book printed, including a crude mock-up of a cover, so that I can idly edit it with a red pen, even though my three weeks now as a professional editor have reaffirmed my belief that it is a needlessly laborious and inefficient way to do business. The red pen and the arcane margin codes of proofreading are pure fetish objects, creating intimate relationships between you and the text you are changing. They are like those hobo codes chalked on doorsteps to relay "nice lady" or "angry dog" to fellow travelers - artifacts of a simpler time. Inserting comments and tracking changes in Word is neither congenial not sexy in the least, but it cuts to the chase.

1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to find some hobo code etched into a telephone pole somewhere. Do hobos still exist? In the traditional hobo sense?