A Baseball Field of Nickels

Here’s a little experiment.

Picture a baseball diamond. The whole field: three bases and home plate, infield and outfield, the whole deal.

Now picture the entire field covered with nickels. End to end, side to side. Thousands of dollars, one nickel at a time.American Nickels Extreme Close Up

Now imagine that it’s your job to go through the field and make sure all of the coins are facing heads up. All of them.

Next, turn every other row so each coin is tails up.

Now, go through and take out any coins that were made before 1996.

Please turn all of the coins so that every profile of Thomas Jefferson is looking toward third base.

Recruit a team of people to help you. Just make sure you’re all following the same set of instructions.

Make sure it’s absolutely perfect. Don’t miss one, or someone might think you are lazy.

They probably won’t account for the fact that you’ve been looking at these nickels for so long that now all you can see in your mind’s eye are nickels upon nickels. You eat, sleep, breathe, and dream nickels.

When you are absolutely sure it’s as perfect as you can make it, walk away with the knowledge that you can never make any changes ever again.

This is what it’s like to edit a book.

Next time you find a typo, picture a baseball field of nickels.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. And every time you find a flipping nickel out of alignment, turned over, or out of place in any way, in the field, some flipping (because I won’t type the other *f* word) editor finds another something you need to FIX. WAY back when we had to type a manuscript on a typewriter, and every word had to be perfect, I typed /rewrote a book 32 times, before it was published. NOW. Working on a computer. I know that sounds crazy. But… those were some serious butt on the chair hours.

  2. That soooo made me laugh. Im sorry. I know you didnt intend for it to. I realize it didnt make you laugh. But I did. For some reason I was totally ready for the nickel story to have some profound spiritually encouraging moral to it. I was excited to get to the uplifting part. hehehe Sorry about all the nickel sorting. It will be worth all those nickels in the end and more.

  3. Daunting task, to be sure. Please forgive my nickel flipping….those of us who see just a little bit at a time can more easily notice exposed tails. (and they seem worthy of alerts)

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