Take a Break, Editors!

Take a Break, Editors!

Language & Editing / Books And Reading

Editing is hard work, and sometimes it's nice to take a break from editing a particularly difficult piece of text and have a bit of fun. I've collected some suggestions for little quizzes, relaxation techniques, and interactive activities for you to help you perk up, recharge, and give your brain a break!


Copy Edit This! Try The New York Times Grammar Quiz

The NYT has been offering readers a chance to test their mettle against staff copy editors for a while now, and these quizzes have a reputation for being pretty tough — perfect for switching gears after struggling on a difficult project! The quizzes are based on real-life internal memos sent to staff by the Times’s standards editor, Phillip B. Corbett, and feature real examples from the newspaper. This one can be interesting because you don’t have to identify the error per se, just identify the words you think are wrong, and if he agrees, Corbett will explain his reasoning.



Take a Moment to Just…Breathe

If you’ve been working hard all day, or maybe have a few deadlines that are hovering over you, taking a few minutes away from your work can actually be exactly what you need to get yourself focused and calm again. If you haven’t tried meditation, consider giving it a shot! There are a few great apps you can look into to check things out. One of these apps is InsightTimer, which has tons of free guided meditations in a web-based app (also for iOS and Android). Try Rhythm And Ease: Count & Observe Breaths To Enhance Tranquility or the five-minute Peel Away Stress, Tension and Anxiety.



Pick Out Just the Right Book

No doubt you’ve heard of subscription box services before, but Just the Right Book! is a bit different in that it can help you choose books for other people in your life too, not just yourself. In a world full of algorithms, they’ve created one that becomes your own personal bookseller – tell them your tastes and interests, and they select books for you using their algorithm, which focuses on the uniqueness of each reader. If you’re strapped for reading material, consider letting this service do the selecting for you — plus, you’ll have a great package to look forward to once a month for however many months you subscribe!



Step Outside for a Fresh Perspective

With all this beautiful summer weather, taking a break outside can be exactly what you need to recharge. Walk to a nearby park and relax on a bench or under a tree, mosey over to your local café for a coffee, or meet a friend at your favourite ice cream spot! The sunshine and fresh breeze on your skin can help you feel refreshed, maybe more than you might expect.



Stretch It Out

Sitting at a desk all day (especially if your posture is perhaps…less than ideal) can leave you feeling tired, sore, and just generally uncomfortable at the end of the day, or even in the middle of the day! Taking a break to do some calming stretches can both help strengthen some of the muscles that may not get used as often, and work out the kinks you get from sitting all day. Plus, stretching can really calm and centre your mind! Try out this quick ten-minute yoga stretching video from Chatelaine, and see how much better you feel after!



Test Your Speed Reading

Think you’re a pretty fast reader? Well, now you can find out for sure! This speed reading quiz will test your speed and show you how you match up against the national average. See if you can improve your score over time!



Add Some Colour to Your Day

This suggestion comes right from Senior Editor Beth herself! She prefers doodling to give her mind a break from working away at a tough project, and you might find that incorporating a quick artistic break might help you too. For a digital approach, try the app Happy Color. With 10,000 free pages to colour, you’ll be sure to find something you like. The pages are colour-by-number, and you can share them once you’re done! For those who would prefer to print out something to colour by hand, take a look at the Adobe Coloring Book. There are different file types to choose from — PDF to print out at home, Photoshop to work on digitally, or even JPEG to use however you want. Chapter One of the book features some awesome female artists who have created the pages you’ll be colouring, and be sure to check out the other chapters too! For something a little more detailed and intricate, acclaimed New York photographer Louise Lawler (with the help of children’s book illustrator Jon Buller) has created black-and-white traced versions of her photographs for people to colour, available through the Museum of Modern Art. You can download the images as a PDF file for your own enjoyment!



So Take 15!

So, the next time you’re stuck on a tricky sentence you just can’t crack, or need a break from a dense book manuscript, take a 15-minute break and switch your brain’s gears to something more fun! Then, when you return to your work, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to look at the content with new eyes.



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