by Jim Caryl
IN this blogging age, we are all writers and self-publishers, bypassing the need for publishing houses to pit our meagre words to the scrutiny of all. Yet being the publishers we are, we must recognise that – as in all publishing – there are still editors.
Each blogger is their own editor, though some may not reflect on this fact as they wilfully abandon great tomes of partially masticated drivel into the blogosphere. Others understand that the passionate cause for which they write, their gleeful discourse of some worthy note, must be married carefully with well nurtured words. These words are hunted down and tamed temporarily, often fidgeting and squirming in the embrace of their neighbours. But all words must stand before the judicious honing and pruning of the editor’s critical vision, lest an anarchic cankerous sentence betray your message.
I work in a field in which my work is submitted to academic editors, and I similarly edit the work of others. However, my cruellest and most harsh editorial scrutiny is saved for my own work, and herein lies the problem.
I am my own worst enemy.
I find myself, as both writer and publisher, in a battle of wills with my own editor – me. My editor seems to be overly concerned with this publisher’s impending need to secure an alternative means of funding, and thus for the last month has accepted only written work for applications to achieve that aim.
This blog, this means of communicating my interests and what would otherwise be my tacit discoveries, may as well be Nature or Science for all the luck I’m having getting pieces past my editor.
In 2010 I will start afresh, be less self-critical, and will try to post some of the 20 draft posts I’ve left to languish and die an ignominious death on the editor’s desk.