Obama, personally making, oh, just a few notes on a speech.
Hank Steuver, of the Washington Post, notes on his own blog:
A photo like this is thrilling, gratifying and also terribly frightening to anyone who delivers his or her own writing to an editor. (Or a group of editors.) I wonder how this picture makes other people feel. I see it and feel a swelling of pride — not in the president so much as in the hard work that goes into good writing.
But I also get a lurching feeling in my stomach. I have marked up my own drafts like this, and, when invited, I have done the same for other writers. (Though probably not to this extent.) I certainly have received manuscript pages back from George Hodgman that looked like this.
When it comes back to you in this condition, you have to take a deep breath and just deal with each mark, one by one.
My own rather less elegant thought when I saw that was, man, if I was Obama’s speechwriter, and he handed back a speech marked up like that, I’d be hoping I was wearing my brown corduroy. Because, damn, people. That’s a lot of revision.
A larger version of the picture is here.