Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wreditor: a breed oft misunderstood (by me, anyway)

Yesterday, I got a rejection... from this guy whose blog I sometimes follow. He's a blogger, writer, and assistant editor for a magazine. And he's not the only one. There are a whole slew of Wreditors - writers-cum-editors - in the genre field whose blogs, Tweets, and livelihoods I follow/stalk - primarily in an effort to garner their sweet, sweet wisdom.

But for all my interest in this species of writerly being, I don't understand them in the least. After all, who the hell wants to be an editor?

Hopefully, my "cuss-and-fuss" tagline incited you to click Read More, because it would be a shame if people went away from my homepage thinking I misunderstand editors. Indeed, there's been many a time I've thought of kickstarting a magazine and filling it with fiction I love (read: babes, rays, and felonious sword-play). It would be amazing to hold something in your hands (slash, web browser) and say: "I put this together. It is a collection of things that I like. Now, others may enjoy it, also." But what holds me back is that I'm too busy... writing fiction that I love.

Thusly, although I understand the Editor - who loves to read and loves to share what they love - I cannot get into the skull of the Wreditor. Indeed, it seems that the typical Wreditor shares my consternation with Time Management, because half of their blog posts/Twitter tweets concern topics to the effect of: "Finally going to get some of my OWN writing done!" or "Time to read more slush *groan*." In the parlance of Internetz, this always makes me say:
Basically, I just don't understand why you would sign up for an editing gig if what you really want to do is be a writer. No matter how good it looks on a literary CV, editing isn't a substitute for writing practice or good storytelling.

And again, it's not like I haven't thought about it myself: when Strange Horizons was looking for a slush reader a few months ago, I was very interested in applying. I like the magazine, and I thought it would give me a chance to expose myself to more styles and ideas (and add a line to my cover letter). But then I realized that my writing time is preciously gained as it is. How could I dedicate hours a week to reading other people's stuff?

So I guess it's not that I don't understand the temptation that the Wreditor feels; I just don't understand their logic/decision-making process.

Not that I don't love them. Wreditors make life great for Writers like me. They're like spies: every now and again they sneak out of the Presiditorial Palace, make it to their safe house (i.e. blog), and announce: "Psst! Hey, you writers! Guess what I just overheard El PresiditorĂ© saying about you guys? Well, he/she said..."

Ah, the informal spy network! Thank you, Wreditors, for all your hard work. I will reap it, and, in return, raise a glass to you. I may not understand you, but you are doing hard and important work for those of us too lazy to do it.

Merci, mes amies. But the journey has only just begun. Now, I have a real mission for you: you must convince El Presiditoré that he desperately needs my next short story...



  1. I don't trust Creatives to do my editing. People who have their own voice should talk for themselves, not try to make my voice better. I'll take a good, pro, non-Creative but [widely, deeply, broadly]-read editor any day.

    ...still, somebody's got to do it.

  2. Yeah, time is definitely an issue. I've never been tempted to be an editor per se, but there are a lot of other things I wish I had the time to do, but I just can't get my kiddo to take longer naps! Definitely appreciate those who do all the reading, though!