The Launch, 23 November 2014
As one of the editors of the anthology, I was invited to speak at the launch.
One thing about this business of writing and publishing is that there is a difference between Form and Content. The form is like the cup and the content, like the coffee.
Creating the coffee is the job of you authors, and that takes an artist’s mindset. The artist is expected to “catch the Muse” and run with it. While in the flow, to stop and watch for proper grammar, spelling, and commas would kill the Muse. You create and then leave it to brew and then give it a stir.
Once the coffee is made, the author needs the cup people, in order to share the work. Creating the cup, the form, is the job of various people: managing editor, acquisitions editor, copy editor, type setter, layout, cover designer, printer, etc. A lot of that work is technical but necessary to showcase your work. In an anthology, that means many authors and busy cup people.
The best approach for every author is to have your own personal and professional editor to help you prepare.
I was pleased to be invited to copy-edit this anthology—and also to contribute. Thankfully, my work was also edited.
The relationship between author and editor needs to be one of nice, friendly discussions. The role of the editor is to be the eyes of the reader. Editors want clarity. Sometimes your copy editor will let you know if something doesn’t work out—that means your readers won’t understand and a little change is necessary. Sometimes, the author lets the editor know that a certain edit has not preserved the meaning. In that case, the author still needs to recognize that the original wording was not clear enough.
Poems are something else. Like songs, they may mean one thing to the author—but, once they are let loose into the world, they touch the minds and hearts of all sorts of people. You may find that your work means something completely different to others—that it’s taken on a bigger and better meaning. The editor can help the poet, too.
The collaboration of author and editor results in the author’s voice shining forth, and then readers who stand ready to grab the work will want to share it with friends over a good cup of coffee.
My message to you today is: Keep on writing!