Thursday, May 28, 2015

On Not Having an Editor for This Blog

In my blogger role here, I write on the Internet, I write when and as often as I want, about what I want, with no word limit, and -- most crucially for my point today -- I don’t have an editor. All of these factors provide me the great luxury of writing what I want, without worrying about limits, especially from an editor. When I write for academic venues -- mainly journals, books, and book chapters -- I always have to keep in mind what my editor(s) (along with peer reviewers of my submitted manuscripts) will think and say about what I write. So there is a delightful freedom when writing on this blog. But the flip side of that freedom is that there is no checkpoint, no one to flag errors, clich├ęs, infelicities, repetitions, omissions, illogical conclusions, and just plain embarrassing writing. There is no one who, with her or his responses and suggestions, will push me to rethink and revise, and who will make me a better writer. I am flying solo, for better or for worse. Luckily the stakes are low; blogs, after all, are (except for those by prominent/famous people with huge readerships) generally not high profile, and mine is no exception. So while I would surely benefit from an editor, the freedom, spontaneity, immediacy, and lack of constraints are counterbalances to the disadvantages, as well as counterbalances to my experiences with scholarly writing. I like having both kinds of writing and experiences. I do want to note that I definitely want and value editors when I am doing academic writing and publishing. I also want to note that I have been very fortunate in the editors I have worked with over the years (too many to list here, but special thanks to Naomi and to Kelly, who edited my books). So this is in no way a denigration of editors, but simply a celebration of a certain kind of low-risk freedom, in my little corner of the vast Internet, to write about something I love without worrying too much about whether it is up to anyone else’s standards (except, of course, those of the readers of the blog, whom I do hope to please, and who have been remarkably generous in their responses).

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