I remember my first true edit well. I was in high school, and I shared one of my stories with my friend Michaela. She returned it with a disclaimer scrawled in purple ink in the top left corner:
“Okay, don’t freak out. When I edit, I edit. 🙂 Remember these are just suggestions. Good story!”
I had a wonderful group of friends growing up who encouraged me in my writing. But Michaela was my editor. I didn’t realize it then, but Michaela influenced the rest of my life with that one story edit. How?
- She gave her edits in purple.
- She was kind and constructive while not being afraid to point out issues.
- She sought out my stories – believed in them – even though she knew they would need her edits.
Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have many mentors in writing and editing, but I learned the necessities from Michaela first.
And, yes, purple ink is a necessity. 😉 It removes the feeling of being graded from the editing and makes it feel friendly. My students like to say I vomit rainbows on their essays and stories, because I often color code my edits. I receive this proudly.
- Make edits fun.
- Give constructive criticism.
- Be a fangirl.
This is the kind of editor I strive to be. Thanks, Michaela! 🙂