You know how you hear about baseball players who eat scrambled eggs for good luck before games or always wear red socks when they’re pitching? Well, I’m sort of the same way with editing. Now, I’m not quite as extreme as Mark Fidrych of the Tigers, who talked to baseballs during games and insisted a ball be removed from a game if he deemed it “bad.” (What would be the editorial equivalent, anyway? Talking to my layouts? Giving my computer monitor the boot?) But I do like things to be a certain way when I edit. For example:
• I’ve been known to change the font of a manuscript before I work on it. What can I say? Sometimes I’m just not feeling Century Gothic.
• I’ve also been known to play around with line spacing. Sometimes I prefer double spacing between paragraphs. Other times, one space or no space does it for me.
• When it comes time to review a layout, I like to have a certain pen. The pen changes depending on the day. One day, a purple Gelly Roll might fill the bill. The next day, it might be a blue Uni-Ball.
• Occasionally, an entire change of venue is required. I might haul a layout into the editorial conference room—or even take it home with me at night. Sometimes my dining room table just feels like a luckier reading spot than my desk at work.
Do you have any rituals related to your work? If you do—and you’re willing to share them—please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!