Yes, this is my office. A clean workspace helps me focus, but my desk rarely looks like this. More often, the top is covered with style guides, printouts, scraps of paper, bills, and writing utensils. Especially when I’m in the middle of a project, I allow piles to grow high and wide.
My new goal is a clean desk every night before I turn out the lights. Only time will tell if I have the willpower to do it. I just have to remind myself that the clean desk is in service of work, not an end in itself.
Editing is similar: style, mechanics, and formatting aren’t ends in themselves. The editing process isn’t just another hoop to jump through, and it’s not an exercise in vanity. Cleanliness and consistency of expression help convey information, argument, and meaning.
Here’s to another week of strong scholarship, consistent academic editing, and clean workspaces!
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