One thing that is normal in any profession, especially where some creativity is involved (as is the case with writing), is personal growth and development. That has certainly been true for me. Reading back through some of my early articles can make me cringe. As the anniversary of my second year as editor of this blog approaches, I did take a look back, cringed, and then also felt a bit of satisfaction for being able to cringe. It meant I had grown as both an editor and writer during the past year.
A major accomplishment was bringing in writers who added some articles to the blog that were above the basic “What is black tea?” or “How to Steep a Great Cup of Tea.” (One of these writers is Elise Nuding, who has recently completed a full year as a contributor to this blog. Congrats!) They brought their own experiences with tea, often in a professional capacity, to blog readers and thereby enhanced the tea experience for those readers. As editor, I had the pleasure in some instances of helping them develop an article idea into a series, turn an event in their lives into an article to learn more about tea, or explore and write about some teas they hadn’t tried. In other cases, I simply sat back and gave encouragement to “go for it!” A few great examples:
- Camping with Tea by May King Tsang — suggested to her when I saw she was planning a camping trip.
- Cooking with Tea: Fruit Kissel by Janis Badarau — part of a series on using tea in recipes, something she was already doing, that I encouraged.
- Boulder, Colorado, Tea Houses — Part I and Boulder, Colorado, Tea Houses — Part II by Elise Nuding — was presented as one article but had enough info to split in two parts.
- Monthly Tea Gadget and Offbeat News Report II by William I. Lengeman, III — turned into a monthly feature (assuming he can find enough to write about, which so far he has had no trouble doing).
- In My Cups: Lacquerware by Janis Badarau — originally to be part of an article covering a whole series of teacups, but per my advice was split up and became a series featuring various items from her collection.
On my part, I stretched my own knowledge and imagination to make each article unique, entertaining, informative, and accurate. That takes time and research, but proved to be worthwhile, both for myself and for you, the reader (based on your comments and other feedback). Some of my personal faves:
- Gaiwan Snobbery?
- Prepping for the Holidays — Santa’s Tea and Cookies
- Do You Really Need to Clean Tea Stains Out of Your Teapots?
- 5 Tea Tricks at the Office
- Tea Moment — Watching the Fall Leaves Fall
- Tea Traditions — Indonesia
- 6 Reasons Your Tea Tastes Different from the Vendor’s Description
- Tea and the Smallholders
- Signs Your Tea Kettle Needs to Retire
A good editor doesn’t just make sure the commas are in the right places and that the infinitives aren’t split too badly. The editor drives the overall content of the publication, blog, or other media, and helps assure the content is professional and worth the readers’ time. We also deal with issues such as copyrights, especially when scrounging around for a photo to go with the article, and keeping away the spam comments. Based on the growth in readers subscribing to our blog during the past two years, I would say that we’re on the right track here.
A good editor also wants to respond to your ideas on topics to cover. To that end, I encourage you to send in your requests. Either I or another writer for this blog will do our best to bring you the information you are seeking.
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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