by Terri Wagner
First, I must say the warm buttery grits I had for breakfast helped with the very cold temperature here in Dixie. Ok, I realize that 55 isn't cold for most of you but here on the Gulf Coast, it's chilly. I live about 12 miles from Pensacola and am a proud member of the SEC so the championship game last night was particularly satisfying, although it makes for an early morning.
I am an associate editor for a trade publication, which means I do a lot of writing for work and spend a lot of time in front of a computer which means I have to be careful what I eat, ha. Working for a magazine is fun because everyday there's a new challenge. My responsibilities include writing up news items, covering trade show events, editing incoming articles and proofing. Needless to say, we spend time arguing over whether that sentence needs a comma or not. This drives our managing editor crazy because she rightly so reminds us our clientile won't care if the comma goes there or not.
And that's really my point for the day. Whether you write about, remember the audience. Who are you pitching this to? As writers, we have a tendency to write to the editor/publisher/agent because in most cases they hold the key for our future. But the readers count most of all. In my time here I have edited hightly technical work from China, Russia and Europe, all of which have their funny little ways so different from the U.S. I have also discovered there are plentys of egos out there. Some of our long-term authors from outside the U.S. actually think their English is better than ours. Makes for lively emails posts in the proofing stage.
So skip all the agony over grammer and puncuation, believe me, the inhouse editors will fuss and fight over that anyway, pitch your story/article to your audience.
Anything exciting in my trade? Well yes there is. In 2002, I attended the very first Space Elevator conference in Seattle. It's an sci-fi prediction from the 1880s coming true for us. If you want to know more, check out Elevator World's, January 2001 issue at our site www.elevator-world.com. Yes, I wrote it and I am proud of that article, but the whole concept is quite amazing. And right now Europe is in the lead on getting it done.