Work Habits: Making Lists for Editing and Writing Projects
Editing and writing can be tiring. Deadlines loom, a publisher wants the manuscript yesterday, another manuscript needs an overhaul today, and life goes on. So, how does one get the energy when there is too much to do and everything deserves fresh eyes and enthusiasm? Lists and a walk. (Forget about the cat; he will not be taken for a walk.)
Systematizing as much as I can, streamlining, and working efficiently to bring focus to what needs focus has paid off over the years. My advice to colleagues—both writers and editors—is, if you do something once, write it down; if you do it twice, turn those notes into a list, use it, and revise it for similar projects. It will save time and help you out when your energy is flagging. Save time with the repeated tasks; save the energy for where it is needed. Here are some of the lists on the go or old and noteworthy:
- names for 10-year-olds
- web sites for checking science facts
- checklist for new developmental editing project
- checklist for author submission project X
- checklist for repeated changes in ms. by author Y
- avoiding MS Word tech issues
- web sites for checking bibliographies
- checklist for map editing
- problems in e-books and how to avoid them
- project list (25+ years in the business they rack up!)
So, lists and a walk.
The walk will always help bring fresh eyes to a project.