Brian Doyle Reflects on Editing
A quick snippet:
“Editing is hardly ever what the non-inky world thinks it is, which is copyediting, which is merely the very last and easiest piece of editing—rather like a crossword puzzle, something you can do near-naked and beer in hand. Real editing means staying in touch with lots of writers, and poking them on a fairly regular basis about what they are writing and reading and thinking and obsessing about and what they have always wanted to write but haven’t, and also it means sending brief friendly notes to lots of writers you have never worked with yet in hopes that you will, and also it means listening to lots and lots of people about lots and lots of ideas, some or all of which might wend their way into your pages, and it means being hip to the zeitgeist enough to mostly ignore it, and it means reading your brains out, and it means always having your antennae up for what you might excerpt or borrow or steal, and it means tinkering with pieces of writing to make them lean and taut and clear, and always having a small room open in the back of your head where you mix and match pieces to see if they have any zest or magnetism together, and it means developing a third eye for cool paintings and photographs and drawings and sculptures and carvings that might elevate your pages, and writing captions and credits and titles and subheads and contents pages, and negotiating with and calming the publisher, and fawning at the feet of the mailing manager, and wheedling assistants and associates, and paying essayists more than poets on principle, and soliciting letters to the editor, and avoiding conferences and seminars, and sending the printer excellent bottles of wine on every holiday, including Ramadan and Kwanzaa, just in case.”
We at The Red Brick Store would like to point out that we do not do crossword puzzles (or copyediting) with a beer in hand. We much prefer Perrier. Also, we send Martinellis to our printers.