My First Editor

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.

Lessons learned?

  1. Make edits fun.
  2. Give constructive criticism.
  3. Be a fangirl.

This is the kind of editor I strive to be. Thanks, Michaela! 🙂


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