An editor with an artistic personality and a logical bent
March 25, 2017
Since I was a little kid, I've known how to draw. I mainly enjoy drawing pictures of people and animals. My relatives and friends used to tell me that I should become an artist. So when it came time to enroll in college in the late 1970s, my original choice for a major was art. For practical reasons, I later switched my major to biology, but I have continued to pull out my pencils to draw whenever the urge occurs. You can see some of my artwork at: http://www.art-3000.com/artist/?id=3960.
Also in the late 70s, I began playing guitar. I was—and I remain—a huge fan of Waylon Jennings and the other rebellious, individualistic "outlaw" country singers, pickers, and writers of that era. (Two of the best, most thoughtful, most emotive country songwriters ever were Kris Kristofferson and Billy Joe Shaver, both from that time.) By the 1990s, I had formed my own country-rock band, with me on rhythm guitar and vocals. We had an engineer on lead guitar, a dock worker on bass and second vocals, and a cop on drums. We stayed together for several years, having a lot of fun playing mostly yard and house parties in the Joliet region. Divergent interests eventually took each of us in our own separate direction, but I still enjoy playing music on my own. And I have a YouTube channel just to showcase that part of my life: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC65_Q81A3jhi3cRGzMslsbw.
At the same time I was singing "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Werewolves of London" (my two most popular performances among folks in the Joliet area), I was also building a successful career as a writer and editor. That career remains my main source of income to this day. Although most of my writing is educational and directly to-the-point in style, I find the manipulation of words and phrases and ideas to be a very creative endeavor—just as creative as drawing an interesting picture or performing a moving song.
All three of the pursuits that have dominated most of my life—drawing, music, and writing—are essentially artistic and creative endeavors. They are reflective of my personality—an artistic personality. Other artistic and aesthetic interests and inclinations of mine range from a spiritual enjoyment of nature and wildlife to a keen eye for female beauty and fashion to an intuitive sensibility for people's feelings and emotions.
This is not to say that I don't also have a logical strain to my thought processes. After all, I would never have pursued my scientific interests without that logical side to my brain. Perhaps I'm somewhat like the Vulcan/human hybrid—forever torn between my logical and emotional tendencies. However, unlike Mr. Spock, I enjoy frequently indulging my emotions and impulses, though I always return to the cognitive, intellectual pillar that keeps me steady. I realize that there is great value to be found in pursuing both aspects to my personality.
I believe that my basic artistic nature helps me to be a better editor of other writers' material, because it helps me better relate to and understand the inner feelings that they are trying to express through their writing. My intuitive side allows me to understand and capture the intent of their ideas and thoughts (even when that intent is obscured by bad writing), while my logical nature allows me to structure those ideas and thoughts into a coherent and accurate text that can be easily understood by the reader.
It seems to me that my artistic yet logical personality makes for the perfect editor of scientific, medical, and educational material. That type of material calls for an editor who understands the technical aspects of the subject matter, which I do. But the writer also wants someone who can understand his or her highly individualized and personalized intent, in case his or her lack of writing skills masks that intent. The writer doesn't want or need a purely logical, science-oriented mind in the editor. Nor does the writer want or need a heavily artsy type of editor. Rather, what is most advantageous is an editor who can put both—actually all—sides of his brain and personality to work to ensure that the writer's desires are properly and fully represented in the text.
Because I am fully in touch with who I am as a whole individual, I can help you fully express yourself as the complete, well-rounded person you want to present to the world.
Being a good writer basically means expressing and presenting yourself in an honest and holistic way to the reader. Be yourself, but the best possible yourself. Let your artistic side illuminate your logical side, and vice versa. A good editor will help a writer accomplish those things and achieve his or her goals.
Drawing, playing music, writing, editing, interacting, collaborating, and communicating are all aspects of my art.