Featured From the Archives: My Average Day as an Editor (in GIFs)

As you read this, I may or may not be buried neck-deep in projects for the Day Job of Doom and daydreaming of a huge shot of Fireball Whisky later tonight. But, since I have never missed posting something for your entertainment, I managed to find a few moments to schedule this post. You’ll have to forgive the archive-diving — again. But given the week I’ve had, and the overwhelming response to my giveaway question requesting more editing/publishing insights, this one is definitely appropriate. And everyone loves GIFs, right? So, without further ado, your encore performance of . . .

My Average Day as an Editor (in GIFs)

by Kisa Whipkey

Originally Posted on 4/18/14

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 6:15 am and I’m all like:

 

 

and . . .

 

Okay, maybe that’s a lie. It’s actually a lot more like this:

 

bill-murray-beating-alarm-clock

 

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 . . .

 

louie

 

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.

So, for the next eight hours, I go punch the clock at the dreaded day job and secretly think to myself . . .

idiots

 

while outwardly doing this . . .

 

katy-nod-dance

 

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 . . .

rudd-sucks

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.

cat

That’s okay, though. We (as editors) understand, and we love you guys. Really, we do. But some days, you make us do this . . .

too-much

 

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:

 

umno

Or . . .

James-Earl-Jones-Totes-McGotes2

Or sometimes even . . .

jon-fan

FattyGenius

 

And occasionally this (if I’m the odd man out on the voting) . . .

not_having_it

Then it’s dinner time, and I step away from the computer for the first time all day.

By the time I get back, there’s at least one more freak-out email waiting not-so-patiently for me.

wut

 

frustrated

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 . . .

fsa

 

Then, after investing several more solid hours into the thing I enjoy most, this happens . . .

tired

So I . . .

give-up

and . . .

exhausted

and the whole thing starts over.

And there you have it, my average day as an editor. Sounds like fun, right?

thumbs-up-matt-leblanc

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 if 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 things like sleeping and eating, 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. :)**

5 thoughts on “Featured From the Archives: My Average Day as an Editor (in GIFs)

  1. Oh, my! Good insight into your world! And as usual, very witty 😊. Even though it’s a hectic life, it’s still very clear editing is your passion.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Thank you! Not quite the image you were picturing, is it? 😉

      But aside from all the snark-tinged honesty, you’re right, I really do love it. They say everyone has a calling in life; I truly believe this is mine, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even on the days when I want to pull my hair out and stab myself in the eye. My goal when I wrote this was not to bemoan my job as an editor, but more to offer a look at how things unfold on this side of the fence. So hopefully, that’s what people take away from reading it.

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