• Mary Anderson

Trusting the Editor


Above: Six views of Korongo editor Sara Tucker: Does this person look trustworthy?

 

By Mary Anderson


When I hike a trail like the Continental Divide Trail I find it useful to gather information from people I meet along the way. They can tell me if there are a lot of blowdowns or what the river crossing will be like. Sometimes I take what they say with a grain of salt, knowing that when a downhill hiker tells me I am almost at the top I could still have three miles of climbing to do. It often feels shorter coming down. But by asking a few questions and sizing them up, I have learned which hikers to trust. And trusting them helps me make good decisions, such as what detour to take or where to stay the night.

I am learning that same trust with my writing. I am lucky to have a talented editor in Sara. I trust her to tell me if something needs more work. I am relying on her to make corrections as needed and to find the photos to attach to each blog. (Gosh, no pressure there, huh, Sara?!) By letting go of rigid control over the end product I am freed up to move on to other projects, knowing my previous project is in good hands.


Just as a long-distance hike often involves many support people along the way, including trail angels who offer food and water or rides into town, so does writing a good book involve outside support. Learning to accept and lean into that help has been a great lesson for me to learn. Without it, I’m not sure I could keep up my daily posts.

I now understand why so many writers pay such great tribute to their editors. They are the proverbial trail angels of books.

 

Mary Anderson is writing a book about her trek along the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail, a journey of healing that she began in her sixties. Mary hiked the southern half of the trail in 2020 and is undertaking the northern half in 2021. Read more of Mary's story.




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