The Happy Editor: Why I Like My Job
I enjoy my job, which is a blessing, I know, because I’ve worked jobs in my life that I didn’t enjoy, but I did them because I needed the paycheck. Can you relate?
Here are the biggest reasons I enjoy being an editor.
Reason #1: Variety
I never know, from one week to the next, what types of projects are going to land in my inbox. I have a longtime client, a publisher, who regularly sends me manuscripts from her clients who write self-help, motivational books for their clients. Some topics from these writers have included:
- weight loss
- saving money
- healthy living
I have another longtime client who sends me academic reports every month that center on the theme of liberty. Topics in these reports flow around the writings of Adam Smith, the Founding Fathers, Keynes, and Machiavelli. Boy, have I learned a lot working on those!
When it comes to fiction, the sky’s the limit. For example, right now, I’m editing these novels:
- a sci-fi military thriller set in the near future where Earth is all but annihilated
- a fantasy about an academy threatened by scientists who torture students
- a light fantasy about a socialite from NYC who gets dropped by a witch into the Amazon rain forest
- a women’s lit novel about a woman who travels to Scotland to find herself
Other novels that have crossed my desk include stories about:
- the brides of Dracula
- a WW2 letter that brings together a young family and a Holocaust survivor
- a fantasy about teens who fight monsters (real ones that threaten Earth) in their dreams
- a military thriller about terrorists who plan to create a tidal surge big enough to wipe out the Eastern Seaboard of the US
- and … and ….
How could I possible get bored or tired of my job when it changes all the time? Writers’ voices are different. Their skill levels vary. Their personalities are as different as the individual snowflakes that fell on us this week.
Some editors tend to focus on one genre, and even one area within one genre. If I did that, I think I would risk getting bored, and a bored editor is an inattentive editor. (HOWEVER: I’m not saying those editors do get bored. Not at all–only that I would.) The variety in my projects keeps my mind fresh as I work on each one a little each day.
Reason #2: Freedom
I have more freedom in this job than I have ever had in any other. I choose when I’m going to work and when I’m not, and that goes for which days I’m going to work as well as which hours. If I want to take a day off in the middle of the week to hang out with my husband (who is also self-employed), our daughter, my mom, or my friends, I can work my schedule out and make that happen without any detriment to my clients. I don’t have to ask a boss, fill out a form, or find a substitute to cover for me. I just do it. (Check out my testimonials and you’ll see my clients often comment on my on-time delivery of their projects.)
I also have the freedom to take on the work I want, not the work I have to do. It’s rare for me to walk away from the offer of a project, but when I get a vibe (whether it’s through some tangible exchange or just a gut feeling) that a particular client and I won’t be a good fit, then I politely decline. It’s best for everybody that way. So if you and I agree to work together, know that it’s because I want to work with you on your project—not because I have to. Those days are long behind me.
There are other reasons I enjoy this job, but those are the biggies. I look forward, every day, to cracking open my laptop, getting to work on my projects, and talking to my clients. Isn’t that the kind of attitude you’d like your editor to have?
Email me, and we’ll talk about your project.