How To Deal With Bad Editors

Five Songs:

Boys of Summer- Don Henley
Into The Mystic- Van Morrison
Reeling In The Years- Steely Dan
Mama Told Me Not To Come- 3 Dog Night
No Time- The Guess Who

Every writer runs into a situation in which they disagree with how their piece is edited.  It comes with the territory and it is important  to determine if there is a basis for being concerned or not.

Sometimes we fall in love with our words and lack perspective about whether the edits in question are helping or harming our work. It happens to the best of us.

But sometimes we encounter bad editors or have experiences with good editors that are having bad days.

My professional recommendation is to ask your editor to explain their thought process. If you aren’t antagonistic or aggressive a good editor can and should provide some insight into what they did and why.

What Happens If You Still Disagree?

The answer to this question is quite simple- lift your Smith-Corona above your head and smash it down upon your editor’s head. Don’t forget to pretend to sneeze or cough because you don’t want to get arrested for assault.

Never use your Macbook or any Apple product in this manner because the ghost of Steve Jobs will haunt you and those machines are made so poorly they’ll break on your editor’s head and you won’t even get the satisfaction of watching them collapse in a heap on the ground.

Alternatively you can always stab them in their carotid artery with a quill or a nice Montblanc pen.

Five More Songs

And When I Die- Blood, Sweat and Tears
When The Music’s Over- The Doors
Loose Ends- Bruce Springsteen
Eres Tu- Mocedades
Bad Company- Bad Company

My crack team of attorneys have instructed me to inform you that I am not truly advocating the use of violence against editors, good or bad and or celtic fans. They say I am supposed to tell you this was supposed to be a parody.

I am not sure if you found it to be funny or not. But I can say when I want to write something funny I can do so, hell I am funnier than you are and we aren’t talking about looks either.

Ask that wacky Shmata Queen and she’ll tell you I am humble and better at math than she is, but I digress.

Yep, I Encountered Bad Editing Today

Yes, you correctly guessed that I had a situation today in which I was forced to work with a bad editor. I am willing to put money down that they didn’t take the time to read my article.

That is not because it was perfect, because it wasn’t. I had a short deadline and turned it around quickly, but I know based upon the comments they didn’t read it through. Or if they did they weren’t careful and consequently they made a mess of things.

I didn’t fight with them about this because when I asked for an explanation they barked at me. You have to pick and choose your battles and this wasn’t worth it.

But that piece has my name on it and it represents my work so I am not ignoring it.

However when you work on short deadlines you sometimes face a situation in which you have to turn in good work and hope that editing can make it great and if can’t…

Well, sometimes chasing perfection can hurt you more than it helps.

What about you? What do you do when you encounter a bad editor?

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  1. zoebyrd2 July 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t think you got my last comment so I will try again. Feel free to delete this if you did. I have never been at the mercy of an editor before this year. It seems they haven’t either read completely or thoroughly enough. There are things inherently wrong with my manuscript that I was hoping to get some better insight about but …WRONG. So I am pretty dissatisfied. Overall its not due to the criticism as much as how the lack of it feels like a lack of investment on their part.

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