September is a month of many wonders. The first days of fall are full of upcoming holiday excitement, hayrides, back to school fun, and leaves changing into their jewel-toned coats. While all of these are great reasons to look forward to September, I now have an even better reason to celebrate. September is officially Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month!
Prior to my incarnation as a freelance writer and occasional editor, I doubt I would have even registered this glorious holiday. However, after writing day after day for several years, I now think it should become one of the most celebrated events of the year. Have you ever thought of just how dull life would be without writers and editors to make sure you have something interesting to read? No? I really didn’t give it much thought either as I read through my weight in books and magazines each month, and believe me, that is a lot of reading!
Now that I am constantly trying to find new ways to entertain and engage readers as a writer, I realize how very difficult that challenge truly is. Was that funny enough? Did I manage to say that tactfully? Has this idea been written into the ground? Would everyone recognize my written attempt at sarcasm? Did that paint entirely the wrong word picture? Is this where I put a semicolon or a comma, and will anyone even notice if I get it right? Passive voice… don’t even get me started on my loathing of that phrase. These are the sorts of things writers think about all of the time. As an occasional editor, my thoughts tend to be a bit more colorful, in the way sailors use colorful language. It can be agonizing to read bad prose and have to correct it while remaining polite to the person who forgot every rule in the English language, or decided the rules simply did not apply to their writing. For all of these reasons and many more, writers and editors need an entire month of kindness.
In my opinion one of the small kindnesses writers and editors receive far too little of is appreciation.
Most of the other blog posts and articles I have read focus on what to buy your favorite writer or editor to show them your appreciation. While I am certainly fan of any holiday that results in goodies for me, I think I will instead show some appreciation for some of my favorite writers.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder – I am completely obsessed with every single thing she has ever written. She inspired me as a reader and as a writer. She always had a love of the written language but did not begin her writing career until her daughter was grown and out of the house. When she did begin, it was as a freelance writer.
- Jeff Guinn – He is the writer behind the Autobiography of Santa Clause, one of my favorite books of all time. How do you manage to take a tune that is thousands of years old and make the magic sing like a new composition? When I find the answer to that question I will be writing my own novel.
- J.K. Rowling – How inspiring is her story? Even if you hate the books, which I actually love, you have to be inspired that an out of work mother managed to write something that inspired so many millions of children to open a book and become fascinated with the world of reading. I want to be her when I grow up!
I could absolutely go on for hours about the writers who deserve my appreciation, but I don’t want to write my own novel just yet. Instead, I’m going to close with a special thank you to my favorite editor, Christina Gleason, the founder of Phenomenal Content. I truly appreciate the work she has put into this company and the opportunities with which she has provided me. Thank you, Christina!
What writers or editors do you want to say a special thank you to?