Writer or editor?

“Writer or editor?” It’s the kind of question that would come up all the time back when I was interviewing for jobs where I’d inevitably be asked to do both and neither at the same time. Usually it was asked by someone in the 30-ish crowd who found themself to be utterly amusing, never realizing that the question was, on a good day, trite. But whatever. I answered with some bullshit response about how you couldn’t be good at either one if you weren’t some of both, and yada yada yada (yes, even more trite).

I didn’t know the real answer until we bought out second house. We looked at everything in between $250,000 and $700,000 in a three town area, and I couldn’t find anything I liked, although the house with blood red faux finish on the walls was worth the effort.

Finally, we decided to build. We found the lot, the builder and were ready to sign … and then:

“I want to look at one more.” That was me in search-month six as we were waiting for a call back from our builder.

He didn’t call back fast enough. Maybe. It could be that I just wasn’t in for the stress of starting with a blank page or empty slate.

We bought that “one more” house instead. It was used. More than 20 years old. Bland. Boring with a weird split-level layout that made this early 1990s house seem like something out of my 1970s childhood. But it was fixable. I could see that. And it turns out that fixable is what I wanted.

Building the perfect beast isn’t for me. I’m more into direecting that beast’s glow up. Design a kitchen? Never. I want YOU to design it for me so I can find all of the reasons I hate it and rip it up and redo leaving just one or two elements in place so you can see that I made it better. I assume this is rooted in some sort of insecurity for me because if you take the first stab at something and I fix it and later I hate what I do, I’ll blame it on limitations, which is all I was hoping for all along.

Just more proof that the real answer is, “I’m an editor.”

Limit me.


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