My teachers had my best interests in mind in 1971 when they decided I ought to be a math teacher. They said I had the best grasp of math of anyone in our senior class.
The problem was that I hated math. I didn't want to get up in front of any kind of class, but certainly not a math class. Most importantly to me, I loved to write, and I was a natural editor. I'd open a book and immediately see mistakes. My motto could have been "I edit, therefore I am."
My teachers thought I wasn't a very good writer at the time, and they may have been right. They said I used too many big words, and they definitely were right there. (Quick story: A friend of mine told me I was bombastic. I had to look it up in the dictionary. It apparently means I use big words. Imagine that.)
I won the school's math award that year, and our valedictorian won the English award. She became a math teacher, and, well, I didn't. I became a career newspaperman.
I'd like to think I was born to be a writer and editor. I'm sorry, but I edit stuff. I edit phone books and road signs and business signs and cereal boxes. I edit e-mails and textbooks and even stories by William Faulkner. Great stories, but he needed an editor.
CONTACT: I can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)