I am An Editor, Not God

My words and actions are not commandments.

Just your ordinary mortal with a laptop. Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash

When S. Stefan Karabacak first mentioned the possibility of the honor of being one of the editors of A Few Words, I was elated. Being an editor of a meaningful publication! I was on cloud nine.

I was looking forward — full of hope — to the day of the offer and when it finally came, my happiness was beyond words.

An opportunity to learn about what it takes to be behind the scene of a publication that has many wonderful writers and followers.

I was ready with my notes, my open heart and my open mind.

It’s been a great ride and though many, many days have passed, I have still many many lessons to learn.

One of the most important lessons I would like to share from being an editor, that you should always keep in mind, is this:

I am an EDITOR, not GOD.

I know it sounds absurd but I am a hyperbole by nature so please, bear with me.

I have had to reject quite a number of pieces submitted to not just A Few Words but also to my own publication, Warm Hearts.

What I’m trying to say is that

I am only human.

A rejection from me is not a death sentence, nor it is a commandment set in stone.

A rejection from an editor can mean many different things:

  • The piece needs polishing — content or grammar wise.
  • The theme of the piece, the content, does not fit the theme of the publication.
  • The structure of the piece is too messy.
  • The piece is not following the publication’s guidelines.

It can mean many things and it DOESN’T mean that you don’t have what it takes or that your writing is an absolute disaster.

Okay, occasionally rejection simply means your piece is complete rubbish.

But come on, do you really think great authors were born with masterpieces in their heads? That they got it immediately the first time or the first few times?

Hell no.

I’m sure by now you’re already bored of the story of how JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before finally becoming a hit with Harry Potter.

Those 12 publishers who read and rejected? It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing, it’s just that they are only human.

I am a writer in a few publications here too and I have had my fair share of rejections from the editors. Some I know were because my writings were just not a good fit in their publications and some — I realized — were because my writings were complete utter crap.

And it’s okay. It’s part of the learning process.

Being bad at something is part of the journey of mastering that something.

Rejections have been a blessing.

It teaches me to not be idle, to always constantly seek improvement.

It teaches me that there is still a lot of work to be done. That learning never stops and that life will always send someone to remind you that things evolve and that we have to always develop and adapt not only to survive but to thrive.

So what if a few editors reject our writings?

It’s not the end of the world.

It’s a little kick in the butt. To improve, to be better, to advance.

In the end, editors are only humans.

I am an editor. I can’t speak for other editors but when I reject your writings please, please please bear in mind that I am only a human and that my opinion on your writing, whatever my opinion is, is only the opinion of one person and NOT a verdict.

Keep writing.

Use the rejection to fuel your passion. Prove that you really love your craft and that you won’t give up on it. Use rejection as constructive feedback, as a ladder for you to climb towards your dream.

Whatever happens, however much rejection you receive, do the world a favour, DON’T STOP WRITING.

Writer by heart. Teacher (English, Yoga, Pilates) by trade. Avid reader. World traveller. Model. You can reach me at agneslouis3108@gmail.com.

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