1. Editors are not spell-checkers. Many editors proofread copy, but really don’t appreciate it when you’ve very obviously submitted your first draft.
2. Editors don’t always have time to give you detailed feedback. It’s nothing personal. We just have a lot to do and never enough time to do it all.
3. If you’ve ever gotten a short, seemingly cold response from an editor, it was probably the 20th one they sent that day and they really just wanted to log off and eat tacos. Again, nothing personal.
4. We love our jobs. Our jobs are just extremely mentally and emotionally draining.
5. Every editor has that one part of the process they love most, and are really good at as a result. The problem is, we tend to have to do it all, and can’t always give every piece of writing the love and care it deserves.
6. We feel bad about that. But we make money when things get published. So we have to publish things, get content out, hope for the best and start the process all over again.
7. There’s no excuse for your inability to follow instructions. If you can’t pay attention to submission guidelines or a simple style guide, I can’t trust you with much, can I?
8. We want to give every writer a chance to try, and learn, and get their work out there. But there’s just not enough bandwidth to accommodate everyone. The best move forward. The rest often don’t.
9. If an editor tells you no, that’s not a signal to give up (in most cases). Writing is hard; improving is a long, gradual process. Keep trying. Try different things. Challenge yourself. Keep going.
10. We’re all in it for the good stories. Write good stories, and some editor, somewhere, will give you a chance.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.
3 thoughts on “I’m an Editor. Here are 10 Things I Really Need Writers to Know.”
Great post! It was last year when I had learned the differences between all the different stages for going through my work lol needless to say I was shocked. I thought editors did everything, nope they don’t!