A Day in the Life of an Editor

Important, Colored Pencil, Pen, Red, Stamp, ImprintFirst of all, I still laugh to myself and probably always will … I’m an editor? Me? Since when? Oh, right. Since a good friend – Sandra Elaine Scott – asked me to help her in 2011 with a book she’d written about her beloved mother (In Memory of a Saint).

But back then I just Susan, the Grammar Goddess, helping a friend, not an editor. Trust me. The thought never crossed my mind.

But a few of her books later, and a few mentions that I’d helped her with her books started changing my life. One by one they came, as if out of a forest, searching for light.

Could I help with their book? Glad to.

Could I clean it up, make it look professional? Sure.

Could I make it a best-seller? Um. No.

*****

Fast-forward to December 2019 and the madness that occasionally hits me squarely in the face. Yesterday was a doozy – in a good way, but still.

Working on two 175-page books at the same time. Back and forth.

A friend emails me: Can I take a look at HER book, her second book? Well, take a look isn’t exactly what she meant. Work on her book is what she hoped for.

When did she want it back?

Maybe in a week? It’s over 150 pages, so no. Sorry.

Hopes dashed. But she understood.

Went in the queue.

Email from a regular client, a prolific blogger. Easy-peasy. He’s a terrific ghostwriter, and I barely have to do anything except remove a couple of hyphens (he still believes bottom line is hyphenated), and put in a couple of commas. Sent it back within 15 minutes.

So nice to get something finished!

Email from an author who first touched base three months ago, thanks to a referral. NOW he’s ready, but it’s a whole different thing. He needs someone to help his company on an ongoing basis. And maybe his LI profile. Oh, and the company website. And the company blogs.

Luckily, not immediately, but soon. We arranged to talk for 15 minutes; talked for an hour. Nothing urgent, but soon. OK. I can live with that, as long as “soon” is in January.

Then another author – of a book – emailed me. He’s now ready. Guess what? I’m not. Can’t touch it for a couple of weeks. Thank goodness he’s cool with that.

Then author #3 wrote – he’s finally decided yes. It’s time.

Sorry, #3. Wrong time for me. Can’t touch it for about three weeks, maybe four. Grumble, grumble, but OK.

One last author — #4 – said he’ll get me his book mid-to-late January; he won’t be ready before then.

He’s definitely my new bestie!

There are moments when I just shake my head and laugh! How did this crazy, wonderful life happen? How did I get so lucky to have a chance to work on stuff for others and see how smart they are in areas I know nothing about?

All in all, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, not even on days when I am apparently the new best thing.

Still laughing … long may it continue.