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Stacey C. Tobin, PhD, ELS

Nice to know that other editors get themselves tied into knots - I don't know what I would do without my lists. And cleaning up the workspace is definitely therapeutic. Love your book and your blog!



You forgot to mention one of the best things about to-do lists: adding something to it that you've already done just for the satisfaction of having something to cross off.


Thanks for keeping it real. Often the worst pressure is that black hole we create for ourselves.


So timely. Had a week like this too: a very interesting ms, but very info-dense, lots of elements, from a new client with lots of rules and tests and a tight time line whom I would like to impress. Annoying tech troubles (notebook battery blew up -- really; "connectivity" off and on; keyboard troubles -- letters and spacebar sticking -- probably due to the excessive humidity and heat, a/c in office notwithstanding; weather headache (five days -- thanks, Hurricane Earl). Freelance, so missed the kvetching (taking the op now :^), but exercised my brains out and did the desktop sweep in desperate bid for some sense of control. Finally, broke the prone-to-crash file into smaller parts so the whole project seemed more digestible, and contacted the people I really, really felt like dodging, so as to somewhat preserve the professional veneer.
The end result will be fine -- maybe better than fine -- but it was a bad patch. Love this blog.


What I decided was that I need to quit reading blogs and just get back to work :)


I'm 29, and I'm both comforted and dismayed that apparently the "wanting my mom" when I'm in a crisis will never go away.

Love the "no crying in copyediting" advice, though. I edit on the side of a full-time job, and that's very helpful advice when I get overwhelmed.

Carol Saller

Elizabeth, as a mom of twenty-somethings myself, I hope they never stop thinking of me when they're in a crisis!



Love the footnotes! This has happened to me twice. The first time I burst out laughing in a very quiet room full of copyeditors. It took me a good 15 minutes to figure out what I pressed by mistake so I could get my text back where I wanted it...right side up.


I recently had to go the "What's the worst that can happen?" route when I got sick. The eventual diagnosis was hypothyroidism, and there was about a month when I couldn't edit at all...I could barely even read. Happily, I was also too fatigued to panic, so that made it easier to tell folks, "Sorry. Your deadline is toast," and go take another nap.

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