On yet another side note…

If you guys were wondering (I may just be overly excited) — here’s where I’m currently doing my Masters degree (in Publishing and Communications, if you were wondering)…

A building at the University of Melbourne, with Gothic architectural features
One of the many gorgeous old buildings with Gothic architecture at the University of Melbourne. (Photo by Pip Wilson, 2008. Flickr Creative Commons.)

The beautiful University of Melbourne.

A few days before the semester began, I decided to wander around on campus, just to get a feel of the school and indulge in that tingly feeling that I’m going to be a student again! feeling. I know, I’m a real nerd.

I arrived on campus, slightly flustered at being slightly lost — but whatever Omg, I’m never ever going to find my way on campus, ever (I’m quite hopeless at finding my way) panicky feelings I felt completely melted away at being surrounded by, and finding myself a part of, breathtaking buildings with old architecture imbued with so much history.

It was a magical moment for me.

I immediately sent a photo to my dad and brother saying, “I feel like I’m in Hogwarts!”. To which my dad promptly replied, “What’s Hogwarts??”, and my brother promptly “LOL”ed at.

There — this is the beautiful place where I’m pursuing my 11-year-old dream (of being in Hogwarts, of course. — No, but really, I meant the whole postgrad study thing at the University of Melbourne, specifically. I know, enthusiastic obsession since I was 16 years old.) at.

What does it mean to be an editor?

Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about what it means to be an editor in today’s spell-check/self-published world. Are editors (copyeditors, developmental editors, commissioning editors) no longer in any demand, since (with minimal technological know-how, i.e. knowing how to simply press the F7 key on your keyboard when in Microsoft Word) almost anyone can “edit” and proofread their work, and literally anyone can publish their own work on their own.

So are editors still needed then?

This has been on my mind for quite some time, and especially so since friends on Facebook seem to keep sharing articles and posts on how many of us will lose our jobs to computers/droids in time to come (hi, Computer, if you’re sentient enough to understand this, I [receive] you in peace. I promise not to jerk you around.). And it got me thinking — are editors dispensable?

Obviously I have very strong opinions about what I, as an editor, do and can do that helps not only writers, but also corporations or, really, any body that publishes anything. But what do you think? Would an editor be essential? Or can a computer do the job of an editor? Or will we move into an age where published works no longer need any sort of developing at the manuscript stage — because people should just be able to publish any(and every)thing?

I’ll probably ramble on about what being an editor means to me in the next post… But till then, let me know what you think!