Plus, two foundational elements of editing and proofreading.
I like being extremely prepared when I learn something new.
I want to have gotten a solid eight hours of sleep the night before. I want to be in my office, at my desk, on my iMac. I want to have my favorite brand of green tea in hand.
But that can’t always happen.
So, this past January I found myself learning something new in a conference room in a hotel in Dallas, Texas, with a pile of tissues in my lap.
Why did I have tissues in my lap?
In this 7-minute episode, I discuss:
- The ‘Prepare; Don’t Plan’ Philosophy in practice
- A secret I’ve kept from Jerod Morris, VP of Rainmaker.FM, since January
- How to accomplish a task, even if you’re outside your comfort zone
- The two foundational elements of editing and proofreading
- The beauty of your current reality, no matter what it is
Tenacity and Tissues (or, a Specific Example of Why You’re More Capable Than You Think You Are)
Okay, breaking news, my Editor-in-Chief friends. I had a different topic planned for today’s show, but if you’ve been listening to past episodes, you’ll remember that I talked about my ‘Prepare; Don’t Plan” Philosophy for Preparing an Editorial Calendar in episode two of Editor-in-Chief.
And today I’m going to use it.
The ‘Prepare; Don’t Plan’ Philosophy in Practice
The original topic I had in mind for today will be fun to share with you in the future, but a new idea popped into my mind and practically wrote itself in my head, so I decided to roll with it.
I was performing a task for work the other day. And it’s something I just learned how to do this past January. Jerod Morris, who is the VP of Rainmaker.FM, the podcast network that hosts Editor-in-Chief, taught me how to use one of our email systems during our Copyblogger Media company meeting in Dallas, Texas.
A Secret I’ve Kept From Jerod Morris, VP of Rainmaker.FM, since January
But what Jerod didn’t know at the time was that it was not my ideal circumstance for learning something new.
I really like being prepared.
I want to have gotten a solid eight hours of sleep the night before. I want to be in my office, at my desk, on my iMac. I want to have my favorite brand of green tea in hand. But that can’t always happen.
So I found myself learning something new in a conference room in a hotel in Dallas, using my laptop, with a pile of tissues in my lap.
Where did the tissues come from?
How to Accomplish a Task, Even If You’re Outside Your Comfort Zone
While our company meeting was impeccably planned and everything worked out so smoothly. I personally don’t always travel well.
You know the warning they say on airplanes regarding luggage in the overhead bins “Contents may shift during flight?” Yeah, that was written about me.
I’m just a little discombobulated when I’m not in my comfort zone, and ended up having a severe allergic reaction to something at the hotel. Or I’m allergic to Dallas … I’m not really sure.
But my nose was unapologetically running and combined with all the activities of the company meeting, it was difficult to unwind at the end of the day and get a good amount of rest.
Nonetheless, I had to be responsive and alert, when Jerod said to me, “Hey, I need to teach you that new thing you’ll be doing from now on.”
Here’s what happened. It was toward the end of the day on a Friday. My head was foggy and I was distracted because I kept having to wipe my nose, but I took notes and paid attention the best I could to the many steps that Jerod walked me through.
When I got home from the trip, I caught up on sleep and the following week I had to implement what Jerod had taught me.
And I surprised myself. I actually remembered how to complete the task, and now it’s part of my work routine like I’ve been doing it for years.
I surprised myself because if I didn’t have to learn from Jerod in Dallas because I had no other choice, I would have put it off.
I would have wanted to wait until I thought I had more control of the situation.
But I was able to perform well and retain the information I learned even I though I wouldn’t have considered myself ready.
The next time I’m going to see Jerod, and some of my other lovely co-workers is this May at Authority Rainmaker in Denver Colorado.
It’s a two-day event with handpicked speakers and a carefully designed curriculum covering design, traffic, content, and conversion.
Every aspect of the conference is crafted to help you immediately build and accelerate your business. It’s not like you hear a bunch of presentations and then say, “Well, that’s great, but how I am going to actually use any of that information.”
At Authority Rainmaker, you get an actual business education and the chance to meet other people who are building businesses online. Did I mention Henry Rollins is speaking? I don’t take photos with people, but I might have to break my rule and grab a selfie with Henry. Is it a selfie if there are two people in the photo? I don’t know what the kids are saying these days.
Other keynote speakers are Dan Pink, Sally Hogshead, and Chris Brogan. There’s a reason we say Authority Rainmaker has the excitement of a rock concert while providing the education of a graduate course.
Grab your ticket right now at rainmaker.fm/event.
The Two Foundational Elements of Editing and Proofreading
So if you want to know how you can become a better editor, there are techniques you can learn and, just like anything, it takes a lot of practice. And I’m here to help you out with specific grammar, punctuation, and editorial strategy tips each week.
But there are two basic foundational elements of editing, which are not a typically part of technical copy editing or proofreading lessons.
When you edit and proofread, you have read like you’ve never read anything before in your whole life. You take no word for granted. You are unbelievably careful because you’re exploring new territory.
And at the same time, nothing else in the world exists except the text in front of you.
Email is not a thing. You don’t have email. You don’t have emails to read. You don’t have emails to send.
You don’t have an iPhone. With a Twitter app. With a YouTube app. With an iTunes app.
None of those things are part of your reality.
The Beauty of Your Current Reality, No Matter What It Is
What matters, what you care about, what you’re focused on — is only the words in front of you. Are they the best they could be? Do you need to clarify your message? How can you improve the text?
You don’t need to wait for anything else to happen before you begin a new project or learn a new skill, such as editing. You can start with your current reality — even if you don’t think it’s ideal. And you just might surprise yourself.
That is all for today. If you like what you’re hearing on Editor-in-Chief, please leave me a rating and review on iTunes. I think that would be super cool.
And I hope you’ll spend some time with me next week, as well.
I’m Stefanie Flaxman. Thank you for listening to Editor-in-Chief. Now, go become one.