Dear Editor, Why Won’t You Work Faster?
Don’t you live on your computer?
As a writer, you pour yourself into your words. Your emotions are tied to how your work is received. After you’re finished writing a piece or a post, you hand it off to someone you trust to hopefully receive the good news that it is going to be published.
The anticipation is killer. Sometimes you can’t help but follow up on your work.
After 2 hours: Oh my gosh, I’ve so been hitting refresh and wondering if the editor has even seen my masterpiece yet. I mean, come on. While dancing on pins and needles of emotion, you wait a little longer.
After 4 hours: Seriously, now. Let’s get this thing out there. I mean, it’s so important. Like, don’t you know how important this is? The world needs this right now — today.
Taps foot even more nervously, fidgets, and revisits the draft often.
But, I’m going to miss my promotional window, and it won’t be as well-received, and it’s all your fault. Don’t you work around the clock and on-call? That is your job; right? Well, I’m calling you into work. Get to it!
Maybe you sent the draft while the editor was sleeping. But, now it’s the next morning. I know it’s almost 7 am, but for real, have you even seen the draft I sent yesterday?
Editor: You mean the one you sent while I was sleeping?
Writer: Yeah, that one. It was yesterday, and all. Have you given it a look? How about it?
If that doesn’t work, you start messaging every inbox you can find because your work needs to take top priority. It’s the best thing you’ve ever written.
But, that still doesn’t work, so you start publicly tagging editors across social media. Tag in Facebook groups and public pages. Tag on Twitter. Message on LinkedIn. Hello, Editor… Are you there? Do you have a pulse? Can I get a response?
Editor: Guess what? Umm, there was this thing I needed to do. It’s called sleeping. And, I needed to cook and eat too. My kid had a birthday and the other one had a fever.
There was this thing called a weekend. Guess what? Weekends are supposed to be more relaxing. Maybe last weekend was a 3-day weekend. You know that thing called a Federal Holiday? Glad you enjoyed your cookout, etc. You didn’t think I’d work the whole time; did you now?
Do you think you might chill a little? You’d save us all a whole lot of time if you’d just follow the process. Beyond that, my family needs some time too.
A little while later…
I’ve begged and pleaded with so-and-so for your phone number, (and so-and-so actually gave my phone number), so I’m dropping a quick text to see if you’ve found my five different inbox messages, three public tags, two private notes, and at least one direct email.
Will you please respond?
Editor: Seriously? Nevermind all of the other people who have sent submissions. Some of them acting the same way. Shall I share your name with them and that you’d like to line jump? How do you think that will make them feel toward you?
Writer: What? Are you seriously wanting me to make edits? What am I supposed to do? Won’t you just write it for me? I’m going to pull my submission. I don’t ever want to work with you again, and I’m going to bad mouth you as severely as I can, like everywhere. Better yet, I’m going to share your phone number.
And, while we’re at it. Your job isn’t that hard. You don’t really do anything, do you? Don’t you just hit publish? You don’t actually read every submission; do you?
It’s so easy, I can do it in my sleep. I mean, that’s what I do when I self-publish. It can’t be any harder for you. Just run my piece through.
Dear Writer: If you spent half as much time on your piece before you submitted it, you’d be published faster. Like I tell my kids, I don’t negotiate with terrorists. When my kids throw fits, they get a “no.” Your behavior, as an adult is more disgraceful. Please go learn some etiquette and get healthier boundaries. Maybe we’ll meet up again next time. If not, keep on keeping on.
Thanks to Ryan Fan for the inspiration.