Burning Wood

Full size.  On Flickr.

For the past few weeks, I've been playing the role of a copy-editor.  As easy as it sounds to sit on your behind and stare at your computer screen for hours, periodically stopping to delete one thing and add another, it's not fun work.  The people that come to me for help are generally, I'll be frank, in uninteresting fields, and not particularly adept when it comes to the grit of the English language.

One thinks, deliriously, of how ridiculous it is that someone actually wants to pay them just to read and make the odd change, but after the first page, the realisation of how slow a grind the process will be sinks in like a dagger in one of the meatier parts of your body.  The strange mistakes people make, tossed in with the unrelenting obvious ones, drive you insane, word by word.  I don't know what it is like for those who do this everyday, but I wonder how many are also prone to biting their fist and squeezing their skull when they're in the middle of a battle against numbing boredom on the one side, and on the other, the tendency of the inanities of commas and articles to make one question the very meaning of life.

It's a deceptive art.  Less sapping than writing itself, but more technical and depressing.  But then, never say no to taking an alternate route toward improving yourself, especially when there is, on the face of it, easy money involved.

In honour of Your Humble Freelancer's current project, today's image wasn't taken not by me, but H.C.B.

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