Bad Editors- It Is Too Important Not To Write

Five hours ago I wrote a piece of fiction that didn’t work the way I wanted it to. I didn’t feel like the rhythm and flow I wanted it to have and I was disappointed.

Maybe it was because the internal editor was yelling and screaming at me about my failure to hit the mark I set for myself. But sometimes the internal editor is wrong.

Sometimes that guy fails to distinguish between editing for mistakes and destroys the style and content. Sometimes I tell him to STFU and get out of my way.

My natural hair color is black and my natural habitat is wherever it is that writers live.

There is a reason why Twenty-Five Links That Will Make You A Better Writer/Blogger is driving so much traffic to the blog and it is not based solely upon the headline.

If headlines were the only thing that worked How To Make More Money and Have Better Sex Through Blogging would be doing a hell of a lot better than it is and it is doing well.

BTW folks, I owe responses to your comments and I will get to them, but sometimes you have to write.

Write out Of The Rut

Many times when I feel unsatisfied with my writing I make a point to write more. Writing is about practice and discipline. You don’t become better by walking away and moaning about how bad it was.

Every day I talk to my children about the need to keep going even when things are tough and I can do no less. Some days in school are going to be hard. Some days at the office suck.

Some of my best writing is never acknowledged and some of my worst receives all sorts of acclaim. Don’t try to understand they rhyme and rhythm because sometimes there are no explanations.

What About Bad Editors?

Fifteen years ago one my editors butchered a piece I wrote about the Superbowl. The man took an hour to rewrite it and then handed it back to me with his name and mine on the byline.

I was livid.

It was as if he had decided to move into my home and made himself comfortable by throwing out all of my furniture and replacing it with his.

When I asked him why he had taken a machete to it he told me he really liked the idea and thought he could make it stronger. He didn’t. He took an opinion piece and turned it into his opinion.

I told him to take my name off of it and when he refused I went the publisher. I don’t know if I would handle it the same way today, but I would be just as irritated.

There is an art to editing. Editors are supposed to make your work stronger. They are supposed to provide constructive feedback on why they make changes. Sometimes you run into bad editors who for whatever reasons drop the ball.

When this guy told me The Princess Bride wasn’t funny I knew I was in trouble. Some people just suck.


I joined a supertribe in Triberr. I am not real sure it was a good idea. I am not convinced that people are really going to read my posts and or promote them.

But even if they do promote them I wonder what kind of response we are seeing from Twitter. It really is being used as a broadcast channel by more and more people.

It is a problem. I need to blog about it again.

The bigger picture is I am focusing on building community. I am focused on building my community around me. I need to balance my disdain for headlines with looking for ways to bring people in.

But first I need to sleep. It is after 1 and I have a 5:30 am conference call. Morning comes too soon and I am not a true vampire. Don’t take that admission as permission to mess with me.

I may not drink your blood, but I am not above biting your neck, kicking your shins or stabbing you. That goes double for the people that keep sending me Farmville invitations. I don’t play and don’t want to play.

I hope your farm burns down and is destroyed by a tornado. Not in real life, just on Facebook. In real life I hope your farm does well, see sometimes I am nice like that.

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  1. Kristen October 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Once again, you’re a font of social media knowledge. I’d only vaguely heard of Triberr, but now I have some idea of what it is from your post and your commenters. Thanks for that.

    Your comments about writer’s block made me smile. Often I start to let myself think that I have writer’s block and then it will occur to me that I haven’t actually sat down to try to write anything all day. Ahh, the simplest solutions…

    • Jack October 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Kristen,

      Any time you have questions feel free to send them my way. I’ll always answer them, even if I have make up the answer. 😉

      I haven’t blogged about Writer’s Block in a while but I think it is time to put something together again. I really don’t believe in it all.

  2. Vidya Sury October 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Bill, after I read your post (mentioning Triberr and Dino Dogan) I wished we (we = as in the people we visit regularly) would all be in one Triberr group. Then I realized I visit their blogs anyway and tweet from there. So, kind of squished the thought. 😀 It is simply impossible to read everyone’s post in a Triberr group every day. Sigh. As Gini said, we’d be reading and commenting all day – and where would we end up?

    Hmm. Jack – don’t ask me how, but I know how you feel. My pressure from yesterday has only eased off a wee bit….and all I am hoping for is to stay awake for at least another three hours. It is 9.19 pm in my part of the world.

    I am taking away this: “the need to keep going even when things are tough and I can do no less”. Sweet dreams1

    • Jack October 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Hi Vidya,

      I go back and forth about having our own tribe. Since we tend to help each other promote our posts without that I don’t know if it would make effective use of our resources. Which I suppose is what you just said, so I just repeated it.

      Must get coffee.

      Anyhoo, I hope you were able to stay up and get more done. My day has been crazy and I am looking forward to getting out to play some ball before I come home and go back to work.

      Good times.

  3. Gini Dietrich October 10, 2012 at 7:17 am

    I’m moved by two things:

    1) Writing every day. This is why I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it’s just an excuse to let it go and try another time/day. If you write every day, even if you never publish it, you’ll never have writer’s block.

    2) Triberr. I have to admit Triberr has become my RSS feed. Yeah, I subscribe to a bunch of stuff, but when I’m in Triberr, I click on the links I want to read that day. I limit myself to 10 or I’d be reading and commenting all day. So, while it doesn’t necessarily introduce me to new bloggers, it does get me to your houses. Without moving out your furniture.

    • Jack October 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Gini,

      Writer’s block is a myth. I don’t believe in it and I never have. If you can’t write it is because you aren’t trying. Read, exercise, write.

      Doesn’t have to be in that order, but you have to try. It is always easy to make an excuse not to do it and easy to feel like your work isn’t good enough. Sometimes you have to press publish and let go of fear and insecurity.

      But I am preaching to the choir.

      Triberr is my RSS feed too. I don’t subscribe to any blogs at all. I have a few newsletter subscriptions, but no blogs. It makes it easier for me to move around and visit more places that way.

  4. Bill Dorman October 10, 2012 at 4:51 am

    I like the moving in the home analogy……..and eating all your food………

    Just because, I have joined several tribes by invite and some are massive. I went from a tribal reach of about 250k to one of over 17.5 mil. I will have to say it did increase my traffic and have had a ‘few’ new visitors comment; but I will be surprised if any stick.

    I come to your place because I know you, can relate to you, and like your style. With these mega-tribes I think it’s going to be difficult to pick anybody out of my now massive streams and do the same.

    Maybe by us putting together our own tribes and concentrate on promoting each other, it’s more like ‘lists’ in twitter to cut down on the clutter.

    The jury is still out, but there is no way I can re-tweet every post now that is showing up in my Triberr stream; and much less thanking everyone for tweeting mine.

    What’s your solution?

    • Jack October 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      You are a good friend Dorman, but if you eat all of my food you will be defenestrated. Some is ok, but not all. 😉

      The increased reach is exciting, but I wonder how much work it is going to take to pull people in from the tribe and retain them. It is not impossible, but it is going to be challenging.

      When you think about how busy we are now and then you add this…

      I am not going to tweet everything that comes my way. I am going to do my best to check things and out and be good about promoting others, but there are limits.

      In the interim I am going to see how the tribe handles things. That might impact how I choose to respond. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

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