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Editor Syndrome

An Artist’s Struggle

By Stephanie HoogstadPublished about a month ago 1 min read
Top Story - March 2024
Editor Syndrome
Photo by Trey Gibson on Unsplash

Missing comma

Missing period

Missing preposition

That’s all I see

Red marks and corrections


Who am I to critique

Another person’s art?

Technically correct, yes

But what if

They meant it that way—





Where do I draw the line

Between what is “proper”

And what is real life?

There was once a me who knew

Instinctually which was right

Where is she now?

Is she lost within the Oxford comma

Or frolicking among the run-on sentences?

If I could only reclaim the middle ground

I might again be the artist

And not just the editor

Stream of Consciousness

About the Creator

Stephanie Hoogstad

With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and ghost written for years with some published stories and poems of my own.

Learn more about me: thewritersscrapbin.com

Support my writing: Patreon

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (25)

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  • angela hepworth27 days ago

    nothing to say besides FELT. i miss enjoying things without feeling the need to pick them apart like i’m the world’s best, smartest content creator and critic

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    Sometimes reading is a busmans holiday... Hard to take the writer/editor hat off!

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Oh yeah, I do that too - when should I point it out? sometimes yes, sometimes no. Loved your poem and congrats!!

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Jay Kantorabout a month ago

    Ms. Sh - I'm so glad that our Celia and everyones' StepMom introduced us to you within their new 'Crib'. My only experience within a creative-writing course was to be put into the Dunce-Corner. I'm just a retired self-described 'Goof Writer' out of the loop for contests or rewards. I so appreciate your 'Original' work among the many snippers with sharp scissors within our VillageBucket. *I've subscribed with pleasure to read more of your work. Jk Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California 'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Village Community -

  • Bamimeke Mosesabout a month ago


  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • ROCK about a month ago

    "Where do I draw the line Between what is “proper” And what is real life?" I never do what's proper; real life work's best in my opinion. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Donna Reneeabout a month ago

    Omg I love this one! ❤️ it’s such a balance, isn’t it? 🫣🫠

  • Grammar is an essential pain at times (I find Grammarly both helpful and annoying) , an excellent set of words

  • Kay Husnickabout a month ago

    I love this, and I relate so heavily. I have to ask, though. I've never gotten an em dash to stay in Vocal's editor. How did you do that?

  • Tammy Castlemanabout a month ago

    I love this! Your punctuated lack of punctuation completely made this piece brilliant.

  • Margaret Brennanabout a month ago

    this was great. my mom, a life-long teacher (finally retired at the age of 80) said it was improper to correct another adult. Just live and let live. I've stuck to that all these years.

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    I love this, and I so agree. Sometimes it's hard to even continue reading when the spelling/grammar are out of whack. Pretty ironic for me, since I have a habit of telling Word where to stuff it sometimes when I don't like it's suggestions. Well done a d congrats on the TS.

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    OH I related to this so much, Stephanie! I also used to feel like I could navigate the editing space instinctively, but now? Ugh, I'm constantly in typo-land. "Is she lost within the Oxford comma Or frolicking among the run-on sentences?" Lol, the Oxford comma, RIP. I can't tell you how much I lost my mind over seeing missing Oxford commas in official writing, lol. I'm a purist, apparently. Do you have that thing where it's hard to keep reading a story once you find a typo? I think it might be in part because of the structure and appearance of a site like Vocal where it looks done, polished. A typo sticks out and shatters the mirror. I have to swallow my editor comments a lot, but it can dissuade me from reading. Congrats on TS!

  • Matthew Frommabout a month ago

    Well deserved top story!!

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    Fantastic reflection.

  • Celia in Underlandabout a month ago

    Really thoughtful and yeah - feel this. Most of real life isn't proper so writing i is pretty darn difficult -balancing the rules and the truths x

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    What a great piece! I had aspirations of being an editor but I have such a hard time staying in the weeds.

  • Kelsey Clareyabout a month ago

    Oh, I really felt this. It's so hard to ignore the editing voice sometimes!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Omgggg this was so relatable! I'm always afraid to correct something because what if they meant it that way. Lol

  • Getting bogged down in the minutiae rather than enjoying & experiencing the art. Yep, I have that problem, too.

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    I know this all too well… And will never be editor in chief, lol. I’m one of the first in line for editorial notes. Thank you for writing this. The wording is clever.

  • Hayley Mattoabout a month ago

    Loved the line "frolicking among the run-on sentences", thats the lane my prose heart would love to live, but my fav English prof would probably have my head. 😅 This was a fun one Stephanie!

  • Matthew Frommabout a month ago

    The two minded struggle of any writer!!

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