Labor Day Greetings To Writers and Editors!

“Editorial Etiquette by JB”


Labor day was designated to recognize the efforts of working people who contribute to the economic and social progress of our great nation. It is not only for manual laborers as the term may imply. Everyone who works and supports the economy is due a day of rest. Even though many businesses and services remain open and continue to work through this long held holiday in the United States.

Writers and editors work hard, although my husband has had to learn to appreciate that I’m working when I’m looking out into space, journaling at a coffee shop, or sitting frozen at the computer with my eyes wrinkled shut (bad). I’m thinking and thinking is work. He has also learned to be very patient because I’m always working as I’m trying to fall asleep. He has grown used to my jumping out of bed and pedaling the hallway to the office to write something down that I thought of before blessed sleep took over.

Writers and editors work ALL THE TIME! Our work happens in our brains and it’s difficult to “leave work at the office” because our office goes everywhere with us. And which one of us doesn’t have an obsession with mini-notepads?  There simply must be one in every purse, pocket, and slot in the car ready for my quick notes. These notes get tacked up by my computer and many times they are comments or fixes I want to make to a writer’s manuscript.

This is where appreciation for editors comes into play. Editors never stop thinking and editing a manuscript until they see it in print (or digital release.) The comments, notations, changes, and ideas from your editor are the results of non-stop labor on the part of your manuscript and making it the best it can be. That’s what they do. Editors are chosen for their perspectives, experiences, and training. When an editor reads a manuscript it is with a minimum of three pairs of eyes. The eyes of the Reader, the eyes of the professional Editor, and the eyes of you, the Writer. That’s why the process is so laborious. It takes a lot of time to read, read, and reread a piece from all those angles. That’s also why there are so many marks and ideas and changes on your manuscript. Because your editor cared enough to do the real work necessary to make your book the best it can be.


Be glad when your manuscript comes back with evidence that your editor did her job. Her job is to look at your work from a multiple of perspectives and after writing it, your job is to see things through your editor’s eyes and keep an open mind that she’s doing the best she can with what she has. What does she have? More on that in future posts of “Editorial Etiquette By JB.”

What was your SECOND reaction to an editor’s work on your manuscript after you settled down? How did it turn out?


JB George




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About Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog

Writer, yogini, mom, wife, and teacher. I teach English composition and hatha yoga in a small private college in Ohio. I'm also working on my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.

Posted on September 5, 2011, in Editorial Etiquette, New introduction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nice way to start an article series. And I love your observations on the acclimatization of spouses to what we do. *g*

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