Every week, I have the privilege of editing 75 incredible writers' articles whose topics span from creative writing to politics, all with their own style and flare.
Some weeks, they struggle and find themselves getting caught in the stresses of having to hit a deadline, which results in the submission of articles that everyone has read a million times before, but most weeks, their heart pours onto the page like water with lessons even I have yet to learn.
I always say that the people I learn most from in life are my writers. It doesn't stem from the sense that their ideas are those I've yet to hear or that their grammar literacy exceeds mine because if that was the case, they'd be the editor. I learn from them by the life lessons and experiences that they choose to share with the world.
From a writer having a traumatic brain injury, to another speaking out about having autism, to another recalling her abuse caused by a high school principal,and another who refuses to let her physical disability stop her from dancing, I am able to learn from their struggles and appreciate their triumph more than I ever could have otherwise. What matters to me is seeing how they heal from sharing their innermost issues and frustrations and how they gain a sense of pride after finding the courage to finally get this weight off their shoulders.
Those articles listed are only a few of what I assume would be over 1,000 I have edited. Week after week, I am touched by the bravery and vulnerability wrapped in the tales they share that have impacted their lives, some for the better, some for the worst. Regardless of how it affected them, they have come out stronger not only because they have accepted their tribulations, but because they are letting the darkness go through their writing.
Editing is a job that can easily become strenuous and frustrating. When you understand grammar well, sometimes it can be difficult to sympathize with those who don't have that same knowledge and having to adjust punctuation throughout article after article is tiring, but when I'm stopped by a headline that clearly shows exposure, everything falls back into place.
I'm reminded that I do this job because I still have a lot to learn from not only writing but from the people and the world around me.
An editor's job is not to bash a writer for being imperfect, it's to enhance their writing so it can be appreciated by more readers. And with the articles my writers share, they deserve to be read by millions.
I have lived a thousand lives through editing their articles, and I appreciate them more than they could ever appreciate me. At the end of a long school and work day, I don't see having to edit their words as a chore, but as a privilege. My eyes are the first to see their heart, and I will always work my hardest so that their character can be understood and appreciated by people who are looking for the voice that is now being spoken.
So to my writers, thank you for being who you are. Thank you for never being afraid to say how you truly feel or what is causing pain in your heart. Thank you for coming back week after week to continue spreading your thoughts and for being a voice for the voiceless. You are the reason why I do what I do, and I don't know who I would be without you.