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  • Writer's pictureKara Espy

Why Am I an Editor?

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

I grew up surrounded by books. My father had a vast, haphazard library stuffed into every corner of our modest home; he was more hoarder than collector. Every night before bed, he would read us Tolkien or C.S. Lewis or similar, performing a different voice for each character. I've no idea how he managed to keep them all straight.

I was reading on my own by age four, bringing stacks of chapter books home from the library. This wasn't exactly a choice. My parents believed television was mind-sucking propaganda, and we had a limited number of VHS tapes, so if I hungered for new stories, books were my only option. And hunger I did.

I'm only now beginning to understand the power of storytelling. It's not just a practice in entertainment. Communicating our experiences, real or imagined, through language, is the driving factor that shapes our beliefs, which shapes our culture, which shapes how we experience the world. Being a storyteller is an immensely powerful and terrifying responsibility.

You cannot absorb the sheer volume of material I did and not walk away with some sense of what does and doesn't work in writing and in narrative. It took me decades to realize this critical eye for storytelling I had developed was a skill, and useful for more than just for annoying my friends by dissecting a movie's poor plot.

So why an editor? Simply this - I enjoy it more than actually writing.

I adore the privileged view into worlds that others may never see (though I certainly hope they do!)

I relish the mechanical artistry of punctuation, of considering how a comma versus an em dash versus a semi colon will be received by the reader, how it will cause them to pause and digest the prose.

I like reading.

I like critiquing.

I love using language to carve and adjust and nudge a thing until suddenly it slides into place and you realize that was how it was always supposed to be.

Above all, I love storytellers. They were my dearest childhood friends; tiny gods, the invisible hands and minds that built the worlds I inhabited. If you have that bravery, that instinct, that purpose, it would be my privilege to work with you, to lighten the burden of creation.

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