Friday, October 31, 2014

Not in the Mooood

I am not in the mooood to blog today. I'd like to throw on a cow suit and traipse around town with "moos" and "boos," but, in the spirit of going-through-the-motions and putting one hoof in front of the other, here is my next blogging assignment.

  • Read Chapter 11, Editing,  in this bad boy and summarize it.  Here goes...

I didn't have the oomph to throw on a suit,
so I threw the book in the bin.
This chapter discusses the editing process as it pertains to text, images and video. It's contradictory that the author, Sean Morey, titled the chapter "Editing" but then goes on to say, "Although you might lump terms such as proofreading, editing and revising into one group, the three activities are quite different and will be addressed separately..."  Um. OK. So those three are different, and editing is only part of it, but it's still all called editing. Sounds about like the Holy Trinity.

I've thought of these three in writing because I've had plenty of writing over the years. As I've written more blogs and columns recently, though, I've become reacquainted with the three in a slightly different context.   

I've had about fifty columns published since I started 18 months ago and I'd characterize my personal editing process as "dynamic." Not as in, "wow!" but as in "fluid and constantly changing."  The newspaper editor(s) don't edit my material. I'd like to think it's because my pieces are fantastic and editing is unnecessary, but it's more likely because they don't have time and the columns are a commentary any way.

I have a collection of friends that I call on for edits and proofing before I submit piece. The more political or opinion-focused something is, the more effort I put into making sure someone else's eyes see it before I send it. I have one due at 5:00 today and I haven't started yet. This is going to be a happy-go-lucky column because I've not left much time for the editing process, and I can't expect my friends to fit it in either. Good editing takes time.

I'm constantly working at becoming more adept at the revision process. My best columns and blogs have been ones that I've begun with a stream of consciousness flowing freely from my mind to the keyboard and then allowed myself time to go back and cut and rework. Trying to nail down the perfect and exact 600-800 words at  the onset rarely produces a great work. I've gotten lucky a time or two, however, but that's usually been when I'm filled with so much emotion about a topic that the piece practically writes itself. (This blog is not going to be one of those lucky times.)

In addition to discussing the process of editing text, the author extends his instruction to editing images and audio.  Now I'm learning somethin'. 

Sure, I've played with some bare-bones photo editing in Picasa and on my iPhone, but I've not even ever used photoshop. What I've done is considered part of the revision process or the proofreading step, but not necessarily editing. I thought it was interesting to learn that for journalistic purposes there are rules and standards for how much a photo can be edited while still maintaining "journalistic integrity."  I don't have the photo editing skills yet to produce images without journalistic integrity, but I'm learning!

We have an assignment due in a few weeks to produce a video essay. I have no idea how this is going to go , but I feel slightly better after reading this chapter and having a class discussion about it.  The key points I need to consider while editing are transitions, cuts, close-ups, and tempo, When I get to the proofreading step, continuity errors, factual errors, holes in the message, inadvertent reveals or visible equipment. So, not a selfie-style video? Damn.

I warned my professor that I would be really irritated if what we've discussed and what I'll learn in creating video media disrupts my enjoyment of Scandal when I finally find time for a date night with Kerry Washington and my DVR. I do not have enough of an interest in becoming a good videographer to ruin my enjoyment of what little TV and movies I watch. He assured me I'll be okay. I have an idea he's right, but by golly I'm not going to go above and beyond on this next assignment to risk it. 

I'm late in turning this assignment in and the bummer is--I actually read the chapter early. Work, school, life, exercise, writing...they're all getting in the way of each-udder and I hope I can wrangle my time better mooooving forward--not just for the video essay, but everything.  This chapter was a great reminder. It's not just editing. Good anything takes time and I need to be better at time before I can be better at anything.

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