I first started this blog back in January this year after finding myself repeating the same comments about wording and structure in numerous manuscript assessments and reports. At the same time, I realised I was getting identical editing questions from nervous authors who were understandably worried about handing over their precious manuscripts for the first time.
Outside work I found I was having conversations with people trying to start editing careers who were having to dig to find all the information they needed about the industry – just as I had had to when I was starting out. Although there is a lot of information about writing and publishing available, it seems the editorial process can be a mystery for those who have not yet gone through it. Sometimes it seems it’s a mystery even for those who work regularly with editors!
I genuinely love working with authors and new editors – it’s no secret that writing and words are my passion* – but I found I was spending a lot of extra time putting together advice and information in separate emails instead of actually editing. Plus, I had pages and pages of spare notes that hadn’t made it into editorial reports for varying reasons – all that time and energy spent explaining different writing problems for nothing.
Originally, I had thought I’d just put a FAQ up on my static website, but those notes kept growing with every editing project – more than would make sense for a question and answer page on a business site. Once I’d decided on a blog, I realised I could also explore some other areas of writing and editing – there are lots of writer blogs, I thought it would be interesting to show what it’s like to work with writers and words from the other side.
I’m not usually one to enter competitions, but when I saw the Best Australian Blogs competition advertised, I thought I should probably enter Bothersome Words – not because I expected the blog to win, but because everyone knows it’s very hard to get a blog up and running and most of them fail within the first year. The competition, I thought, would be a good way to get the blog “out there” – and it was all about promoting good writing, which is something very close to my heart.
Writing is scary business. I have always respected any writer for having the courage to hand over their work to someone else to read**, never mind actually allowing it to be published and sent into the world at large. I get nervous enough just hitting “publish” on a simple blog post, knowing that it will slip out into the ether to be read and judged (or not read at all – is that worse?) by the denizens of the interwebs.
I was absolutely astounded when the 23 competition finalists were announced and I was notified that Bothersome Words had made it as one of the five in the Words category. I have been deeply touched by all the lovely messages of support from friends and family on- and offline. And delighted and amazed to announce that today Bothersome Words won the Words Category in the Best Australian Blogs 2011 competition.
Business and Best Blog: Styling You – Nikki Parkinson
Lifestyle/ Personal: Random Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mum – Lori Dwyer
Commentary: News with Nipples – Kim Powell
People’s Choice: Bike Exif – Chris Hunter and, of course, all the finalists and nominees.
Here’s to celebrating writing, in every category!
* No, seriously, allow me to bore you some time.
** Or edit. Really, we editors DO know how terrifying our pencils/red pens/post-it notes/track changes are.