Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thoughts on Editors & Editing

In an odd way, the exchange between writer and editor encapsulates the process of growing up. The act of writing is godlike, omnipotent, infantile. Your piece is a statement delivered from on high, a pronouncement ex cathedra, as egotistical and unchecked as the wail of a baby. Then it goes out into the world, to an editor, and the reality principle rears its ugly head. You are forced as a writer to come to terms with the gap between your idea and your execution -- and still more deflating, between your idea and what your idea should have been.
From an article by Gary Kamiya entitled "Let Us Now Praise Editors". You can read the rest at Salon.com

5 comments:

Xena said...

There is a broader picture - the reader. The comments of the "peer-writer-as-editor" or "the publisher/editor" are not as daunting and humbling of an experience as the opinion of the unknown reader - the person who does not know you, except by your words.

And then there are the people who DO know you, but not as a writer, and read the work of your imagination.

It is a good reality check, this "other realm". We become so insular otherwise. It is safe, in a sense, to share work with colleagues and writer friends.

Larry Keiler said...

Larry never writes with the reeder in mind. Larry's his own best reeder. If you don't know what Larry's talkin' bout, well then it just sucks to be you, eh? :P

Larry doesn't want broad reeders. He wants slim, svelte reeders. Larry thinks Twiggy was the ideal reeder. Larry doesn't care if nobody under 50 knows who the hell Twiggy was. Larry will stand at the off-ramp at Homer Watson with a sign that says: Homeless, hopeless, buy my book 2$. $5 if you want me to get out of town.

Larry also does not want reality checks. Cashier's checks. That's what he wants. Negotiable bonds. Silk, if possible. Silk negotiable bonds to tie around his wrists and hang himself from the crucifix of CanLit. Furthermore, Larry does not need insular. He is not dietetic. He admits to the occasional bout of peripatetic, but do not ask him about it in public, OK?

X said...

ok

Larry said...

Thank you. That's about as succinct as it gets, eh X?

Which proves that X needs no editor neither.

X. OK.

What neXt? A?

And speaking of which...wut's up wid Mr. Bacon? Now that his City Hall sees the light of day from atriatic skylights, is he on sabbatical? Does he count his toes, wondering if perhaps the mayor absconded with one? Is he neck deep in the next adventure?

X said...

Yeah, I was pretty pleased with my response.

Kinda like signing one's name with an X - no fluff about it.

X marks the spot, k?

I've passed along your message to BB.