Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad, the Editor

I should have blogged this earlier. (I.e. I didn't really intend for this to be a Father's Day post, but here it goes.)

My dad has been an editor for 18 years. Dinner time discussions sometimes revolved around the proper use of words. And often ended up with an encyclopedia at the table (though that was my mom, really). For years, I've stopped myself from saying "hypothetically" then making a statement, either choosing to switch to "theoretically". It makes me a nerd, but it makes me my dad's daughter.

Recently, I gave my dad some of my writing. It was general, factual essay stuff. Nothing too special. But he warned me that some of his writers get nerved out with all the "red ink" (well green actually is his preferred color) spilled on their projects. I laughed, but I was nervous--just like I normally am.* But I got the file back and flashbacked to high school. I remembered the various times my dad read through my term papers and edited them for me. There was a lot of "red/green ink" there too. But it was always framed around getting the good ideas that were there out. And I carried that into college. I nearly always found that my papers actually grew during the editing process to express my ideas more clearly and explicitly. (I'm not too wordy. Shock to my blog readers.)

And the same thing happened this time. Lots of grammar corrections, word choice, etc. But he still said it was great. Clear development. Good job structure. Nice bones. (Those are all my words. He put it in his words, but that's how I remember it.) Being a words of affirmation person, I cling to words, good and bad. There are echos of disappointments that still bang around in my head. But with that project, I found some good echos. I found some fatherly pride in sharing the "family business". It was a pretty cool father/daughter moment, and it happened 500 miles apart. I love technology.

But more importantly: I love you, Dad! Happy Father's Day!

*Just like most people are about their writing according to Anne Lamott. I was reading Anne Lamott around that time so I was amused by my reaction.

No comments: