Well, between the new job, trying to stay caught up with my own writing, and an inbox inundated with messages I haven’t gotten around to thinking of a good topic for today’s post. I’m quickly learning that an editor’s job isn’t glamorous or easy. I already knew that, but I didn’t fully understand it until I started working as an editor. I have a new respect for the editors who have been at it for five, ten, twenty years. These are some amazing people.
It’s a little weird for me to be on both sides of the fence, so to speak, though I do have compassion for the authors whose work I receive. I know what it’s like to submit something I’ve worked hard on and wait patiently or not so patiently for a response. I also know what it’s like to feel so certain your work is going to get accepted, then receive a rejection. Now, I’m learning what it’s like to receive those submissions and make a decision on whether or not it’s ready for an offer of publication. I also know what it’s like to write and send rejections. I can tell you, the editor side of the fence isn’t any easier than the writer side. It’s just different.
Here are a few words of wisdom for all you writers out there:
Don’t get angry with the editors (and agents) who reject your writing. They’re just doing their jobs and don’t like sending those rejection letters any more than you like receiving them. Take another look at it and see if there’s any way to improve it. If your rejection includes suggestions on how to improve the book, story, article, etc. give it serious consideration. That editor or agent took the time to comment on your work. Give them the courtesy of thinking about what they said. If it makes sense and you agree with it (however reluctant you may be to admit your work isn’t perfect), give it a try and see how you like the revised project. You just might be surprised how right the suggestions were.
Speaking of which, I have a suggestion from an agent I need to implement. It’s going to be a lot of work, but he’s right and it will improve the manuscript.
To any agents and editors who happen to read this:
Thank you. You are an amazing bunch, and I appreciate the difficult job you do. And for those of you who offer comments and suggestions in rejection letters, thank you so much! It means a lot to me as a writer to know why you rejected my work and that there is a way I can improve it. You’re awesome for taking the time out of your busy day to give me a personal rejection.