Then one day I got a break. My roommate, an intern in the PR department at Microsoft, landed me an interview with the Copy Chief of Corporate Communications—the head of all the marketing and communications writers. Despite the fact that I took the wrong bus and arrived late and, perhaps worse, wore a really bad hound’s tooth suit, Tony and I clicked. He had done his graduate work at the same
The department had an equal number of writers and copy editors, and nothing ever went to print without your editor scrutinizing it several times. This was the best education in writing that I ever had. These copy editors were serious. These people earned their money on my crappy copy. But I loved it. When I’d get a piece back that had been routed through editorial I’d grab a fresh cup of coffee, close the door to my office and pore over the red hieroglyphic marks. Then I’d open the document, make the corrections, and print my deliciously flawless pages.
Until then, I’d never had the pleasure of being edited on a regular, daily basis. I miss it terribly. This piece could definitely have used an editor. To me being edited is like scratching a mosquito bite, the way it feels good and bad at the same time. Sure you feel like an ass for being caught making dumb mistakes, but reading that freshly edited page, free of errors…well, I guess you might have to be a writer to appreciate how that feels a lot like getting into clean sheets that someone else has washed and put on the bed.Every Wednesday night the Lithia Writers critique group gathers. I love Wednesday, love the writing group, but if I’m honest about what I love most it it’s not the discussion about what I’ve brought, the talk about content, momentum, tension, and all that. No, it’s about Thursday morning when I get a fresh cup of coffee, close the door to my office, and pore over the four new sets of marked-up pages. It’s about scratching that mosquito bite.