Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting Edited

A good friend and I volunteered to write something for a publication last month.

It was an interesting assignment, and we had lots of time to complete it.  We took about a week and a half and put together what we considered to be some pretty good material.  It was short, it was sweet, and best of all we had written it so that it could be condensed for space as required.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances (at least by us, since we didn't see anything) the publication was delayed by a week.  Then another week.  We had begun to dispair that our efforts would ever see the light of day.

So imagine our surprise and delight when it hit our desks yesterday.  Then, a feeling that I can only imagine must be the feeling that every person out there that makes their living writing for someone else must get every damn day of their lives.

Our piece had been been condensed.  No, to say it had been condensed would be too generous.  Out of the entire item: two sentences.  And they weren't even good sentences.  I mean, they were good, we wrote them after all.  But they were from the end of the article and depended pretty heavily on the context generated form the rest of the article. 

Heartbreaking.

On the upside, there were 24 sentences in our article, so in a week and a half we generated a year's worth of content.

Being edited sucks.  But it's a necessary evil.  Until you're running your own show, you give it your best shot and hope that everything turns out all right.  And, geez, this was something that would be hard pressed to be described as a puff piece - imagine how I'd feel if it'd been a book. 

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