There have been a lot of GIF posts about what the publishing or writing process is like, but I’ve never seen one for what it’s like on the other side of the fence. Until now. This week, I’m breaking the unspoken rule that writers are never allowed behind the publishing curtain and illustrating what my average day as an editor looks like. And, because I had a request for a post with GIFs, I’m going to use everyone’s favorite sarcastic medium (which means that any of you reading this via an email/mobile device may have to click through to the actual site to see them). Before we dive in, I do want to say that this is solely what my average day looks like — other editors will be slightly different. The moral of this story, though, is that editors need cheerleaders too. You’ll understand by the time we get to the end. Don’t worry. ;)
My Average Day as an Editor
The alarm goes off at 7:30 am and I’m all like:
Okay, maybe that’s a lie. It’s actually a lot more like this:
But anyway, I’m up. I’m ready for the day. I’ve got all the things I need to do circling through my head, and I’m ready to tackle them all. Until . . .
I remember that I have to go to work. Not editing work — work work. Because, you know, editing doesn’t pay as well as everyone thinks, and I still have to eat.
while outwardly doing this . . .
Meanwhile, my inbox is filling up. By the time I actually get to start my day as an editor, I have 64 new emails (that’s a light day). Of those, approximately 1/3 will be submissions, 1/3 will be about the various tasks I assist with at REUTS, and some days, as many as 1/3 are authors freaking out over something. Those days, I tend to open my inbox and immediately think . . .
See, contrary to popular belief, editors work on a lot of projects at once. And writers (yes, you) are a high maintenance bunch, prone to neurotic freak-outs and requiring constant reassurance.
That’s okay, though. We (as editors) understand, and we love you guys. Really, we do. But some days, you make us do this . . .
Anyway, I’m getting off topic. On those days where my inbox is full of people freaking out, I spend the next several hours holding their hands and providing reassurance. (See, the take away here, writers, is that every time you send one of those freak-out emails, the person on the other side loses valuable time they could have spent actually working on your project.)
**Note, I do not consider status requests and legitimate questions freak-out emails. Those are always welcomed and definitely allowed. ;) **
By the time that’s done, it’s dinner time. But, before then, I’ll read through a couple of the submissions, which looks something like this:
So, I deal with that one too (because I don’t like to leave anyone with more anxiety on their plate than necessary) and then finally, FINALLY, I get to edit. You know, that thing everyone thinks editors spend their days doing, but that we actually only get a few hours with. It’s a victorious moment when I finally get to this part of the day. Like . . .
And there you have it, my average day as an editor. Sounds like fun, right?
The point of this (besides getting to have way too much fun with GIFs) is to show you just how hectic an editor’s life can be. We’re not robots who sit and do nothing but edit 24/7. We’re people, with lives and jobs, families and human needs. So cut your editor some slack if they don’t get back to you immediately, or it’s taking longer than you expected to edit your manuscript. We’re not purposely doing these things to hurt you. Editing is a time intensive job, and to do it right, you have to invest that time. The argument I always tell myself when stress threatens to overwhelm me, or someone’s pushing me to meet deadlines that aren’t possible without giving up sleeping, eating, and everyday life, is this — would you rather it be done right? Or be done fast? It’s not a perfect world, and those two can’t coexist. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Trust me.
**A big thanks to www.reactiongifs.com for supplying all the GIFtastic fun. Be sure to check them out! Their database is phenomenal. :)**