…the woes of writing…

July 18, 2003 1:34am
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I’ve been walkin’ my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
Lord knows, when the cold wind blows, it’ll turn your head around…

Have you ever caught yourself compromising your own integrity to get ahead in life, or maybe even simply because you can’t see any other choice? Well, that’s what I’m running into as I start getting more and more paid writing assignments. Maybe I’m making too big of a deal about it, but I’m starting to have some concerns about the actual role that an editor plays and it just really urks me that I can’t do a damn thing about it. Signing that contract brought along a few other details that I hadn’t expected and requesting an updated version would probably result in me losing the job altogether, but I guess, once again, that the financial aspects play trump here and shout “Shut up and deal with it. You’ve only got six more weeks until the car’s paid off anyways, so just smile and keep thinking about that permanent vacation at the end of the summer…”

It’s just that I don’t understand where these choices are coming from – as I continue on with my role as the Editor-in-Chief of Just Laugh, although the word editor is technically in my title, I really don’t do that much editing, per se. I’ll correct the stray spelling and grammar points if I come across them, but for the most part I opt to leave our columns as they were originally submitted. Mind you, if there are major problems, they’ll get sent back and a rewrite is requested, but I can honestly say that I can count the number of times that that has happened on one hand. We’ve got a fantastic group of writers who all take a great amount of pride in what they do, so naturally they wouldn’t think of sending me anything that wasn’t anything but their very best. I don’t find myself adding in little tidbits here and there that I think would be funny or change the wording to something else that I prefer because then the piece isn’t completely written by that single author anymore, now is it?

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a bit peeved because somebody has been making their own additions to my columns before they’re being published, and additions that don’t even make any sense to boot! Of course, my writing style has always been more relaxed than most, so if I don’t mention sponsors or what have you, although I don’t normally write like that, I can understand why they should be included. But the particular change that started this whole thing doesn’t make a lick of sense in the context where it was added, making me look like I don’t know what I’m doing because, well, my name’s at the top of the page. A few weeks ago, Courtney showed me a story that she had been asked to write for an editor, who in turn put her own name on it and published it as her own, which would’ve enfuriated me beyond belief to say the least, but I guess it goes without saying that pretty much any writing-related issues have a tendency to get under my skin better than most.

Will I end up causing a stink about this? I probably could, but for the sake of disrupting the otherwise fairly straight track that I’m on, I won’t, but I will say this – Read, re-read, and then read again that contract before you sign it! Granted, things could actually be a lot worse, but they could be a lot better, too…

2 Responses to …the woes of writing…

  1. mbuonauro says:

    Elvis, let me share something with you. A long time ago, there was a man names Larry. Larry had something of a brain to him, and he went and made himself some bit of fame with something nice and new, that everyone loves and uses all the time.

    After a little bit, somebody came to Larry and said, “Larry, we’ve got 40million dollars here for you, but you’re going to have to give up everything you stand for, and become our sell-out whore for three years.”

    Larry, now a millionaire, declines to comment about the incident, and pays to have anyone who brings it up killed.

    The moral of this story, is that your integrity in a sack is worth a sack.

  2. scott says:

    Oh my God – that actually made sense! Who’d have thought?!

    You’re not, by any chance, Larry, are you? That’d be even better because then I could just mooch off of you…

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