Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hire Auntie: Evolutionary Editor

When a person declares that he or she is going through a midlife crisis, I question if that’s the correct term for the experience.

I mean, maybe a gal is just viewing her reflection at the wrong angle. I would term that “weight rearrangement.” Reflections should only be viewed in a small, chest-high mirror until the crisis has passed.

Or maybe her husband is viewing his wife from a different angle than he does other women, which could be termed “boredom,” “lack of self-esteem,” or “lack of self-control.”

Perhaps a person is so tired of the routine that a deviation or transplant is vital. We simply can’t do the same thing continuously without losing precision and verve, even when we walk a diverse path. Viewing life from a fresh perspective can give us vibrancy and invigoration.

Therefore, I think another term for this midlife crisis concept is “evolution.”

Think of how many times you’ve evolved since high school or college. Many of us don’t even work in our degree field. In college I majored in journalism. My emphasis was on advertising and broadcast, so I was the promotion director at the college radio station and appeared on TV as both an environment reporter and anchor.

After graduation, I sold time—radio time, that is. Plus I was on the air from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. weekdays. But when an offer to earn almost double came along less than three years later, I jumped into the finance business and soon after ran a leasing company.

I can think of one position that pulled all my skills and talents together, except for singing, and that was as the international marketing communications manager for a high-tech company. I loved it, and they used me well, though I was only allowed to sing in the bathroom.

But less than a decade later, I decided to contract with my employer and work from home to more actively parent my little girl. And here I am 13 years later with my savings gone, evolving away and weighing my abilities to see what tips my scale.

Maybe you’re asking the same question: Of all the things I do well, what am I passionate about and do better than anyone else?

I believe my forte is editing, and writing, of course. [Purists out there will call me on my use of forte, I’m sure.] Therefore, I am hanging out my marquee to be your writer and editor.

Maybe you don’t need an editor. Here’s a test. See if you can find 25 errors in the following passage.

His sage advise after 30 years experience was:
(1) Read non-fiction books.
2) Don’t be lead astray by good looking women.
3) Be aware of ideas that are half-baked but others’ say are alright.
4) Don’t travel North West of Texas.
(5) When stopped by a Sheriff, know your hung if you don’t place you’re hands on the dash and act saint-like.
6. If you meet a skunk think twice before you yank it’s tail
(7) If you have a nearly-empty canteen be thankful for those drops already drunk.

With a wink of his eye and a tip of his hat, he said, “If I was you, I’d contact this Auntie girl.”

How did you do?

After I wrote that crazy passage, my daughter found one error that I hadn’t caught. Teenagers, they know everything. But evolution hasn’t caught her yet.

If you reach your audience with the written word, it matters to do it correctly, and your friends might not tell you something is wrong.

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