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Lucy Payette

Editorial Headspace: A Year in Review

Illustration of red and green holiday ornaments, each with a picture of holly, hanging against a blue background with white polka dots.

In November, CBC Radio host Tom Power replayed an episode on q about the unlikely success of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You, and I’ve had the song stuck in my head ever since. The relentless earworm aside, the opening strain sums up my expectations for the pending holiday break: I don’t want a lot for Christmas.

Holiday ornaments
Malgorzata Slusarczyk ©

That’s a long time for a tune to be in my head but it’s not as long as this year has been. My wants and hopes for the season and 2021 have been tempered. I’m not asking for a lot these days. I’ve adjusted. And so apparently have you. The number of posts related to not one, but effectively two pandemics — a virus and racial inequality — was telling. As I reviewed the topics of The Editors’ Weekly posts this past year, I shared your angst and concern, but I was moved by your resilience. I’ve been uplifted by this community of editors.

Collective words

The anxiety was fresh in the late winter and early spring: while juggling working from home and caregiving, you realized it was OK to ask for help. Some of you looked for ways to keep busy.

You got on with it and continued with the business of editing though, discussing the diversity in your work and sharing reflections and opinions. At times, you let your mind wander and allowed yourself to laugh about things like sure-fire opening lines on Tinder. As the walls closed in, you found value in celebrating the little things. You pondered the time you had to read.

Just when the thought of another month of isolation was unbearable, warmer temps arrived. You found humour and ways to escape in “Zoom Time.” The initial wave of the virus had passed, which gave some hope for change if not for a return to normalcy. In an interview, Rhonda Kronyk spoke of efforts in the publishing industry to elevate the voices of Indigenous editors and writers in Canadian literature.

Then the second wave came, and your attention turned to the return to school, to working with young writers, and you braced for a new experience in higher education. You hunkered down, raised awareness about inclusivity in language and shared your expertise on podcasting, style guides and sheets, and academic editing.

The gift of posts

I would like to refer to all the posts we published this year, but you get my point: I’m grateful for all the submissions from regular contributors, newcomers and guests, whether we were able to publish them or not, as well as for the engaging comments from readers.

I’m also grateful for the time Anna Williams spent to teach me about this role, and for the review committee — Sue Bowness, Anne Brennan and Gael Spivak — for their perspective. I’ve benefited from the sharp senses of our proofreader and social media writer, Adrineh Der-Boghossian, from Michelle Ou’s creative and Caitlin Stewart’s timely assistance at the national office. I’m so grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to stay connected with you all in a time of severe isolation. Thank you.

As I say goodbye, or perhaps good riddance, to this year, I wonder, as editors, writers and readers, what have you eschewed and what do you most look forward to in 2021? What new skills have you acquired or what do you plan to work on next? What themes would you like to see more of in The Editors’ Weekly? Do you have an idea for an article? All I want (for Christmas) is to hear from you — and perhaps to hear a new refrain in my head.

I wish you and yours good health and hope in the new year. The Editors’ Weekly will return on Jan. 12, 2021.

The Editors’ Weekly is the official blog of Editors Canada. Contact us.

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4 Comments on “Editorial Headspace: A Year in Review”

  • Anita Jenkins


    “What themes would you like to see more of in The Editors’ Weekly?”

    Best wishes for the holidays, Lucy, and for a better year in 2021. Vaccine!

    The blog is public, open to anyone who is interested in the world of editors and editing. So I think it should be directed more consciously to the general reader, and not just to working editors. I like the posts about language and reading, about the life of a freelancer (Who knew that working from home would become such a big thing?), profiles of interesting people who belong to the editing community, i.e. editors are people too, lol.

    • Lucy Payette


      Thank you, Anita. All the best of the season to you as well. As one card I received today read: Peace, joy and happy vaccination!

      Thanks for your helpful comment, support for and contributions to the blog. It’s good to hear that there’s an appetite for a wider range of content. Makes the hunt for content a little easier.

  • Nicely summed up, Lucy! Here’s to a better 2021! 🙂
    All the best to you and yours.
    – Anna

    • Lucy Payette


      Many thanks, Anna. A happy holiday and 2021 to you as well!

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