Thursday, April 01, 2004

My article on Chicago as a Green City in this month's Conscious Choice is out

So, the April cover story in Conscious Choice is about Chicago as an environmentally-leading city. I'm credited with the story, but the tone of the piece is my editor's, not mine.

But there's no way to tell that from reading the piece (or, I guess, any edited piece).

I can see which paragraphs in the piece retain my tone, and which ones take on the breezy, conversational tone of my editor (such as the lead: "You've gotta hand it to him." or ". . the mayor's intent is clear: I mean business!").

I'm delighted and grateful to Conscious Choice that I had the chance to interview Mayor Daley and write about environemental policies, but I am incredibly uncomfortable with reading sentences that I would never have written under my name. It seems so inauthentic.

I wonder how other writers -- those with editors -- deal with the this professional tension. I mean, I'm appalled that the word "gotta" appeared in an article that I wrote. I feel like one of those public service announcements where a 10-year-old girl's voice is speaking from the body of a 60-year-old man. This article is not in my voice. Maybe I'm just acting like a bit of a prima donna.

I'll link to the article as soon as they update their website.

Too bad Eric Zorn is on vacation; I'd like to know his thoughts on this, since he's got editors. Any other reporters or free-lancers, I'd like to know your thoughts.

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