Open Letter to Editors

Last week I wrote this post about my frustration with twenty-something editors.  In the past couple days, I had an email exchange with one of those infamous twenty-somethings.  The editor-in-question bounced back a 457 word piece of mine because of a punctuation error.  She didn’t specify what it was, just said it was an error.  After scouring the piece I found a missing comma.  Returning the piece, I claimed to have found it.  Nope.  There was another one.  Sending an email to the editor, asking for help in identifying the crime I’ve committed, I got this email in response:

“Sorry, I just don’t have time to make corrections. As a professional freelance writer, these are things you need to be finding and correcting on your own.”  

Two commas were missing.  I found one.  Couldn’t find the other.  And this editor who is too busy, just spent probably five minutes sending me emails telling me she “didn’t have time” to fix one lousy comma.  

And people wonder why I won’t work with twenty-something editors.

Well, congratulations. You got your parchment from that Liberal Arts school and now you’re ready to change the world. But let me share something with you; you don’t need to screw up my life just because you got a degree.

You’re a twenty-something that’s working for an online media outlet. CNN maybe, Huffington Post, The Guardian or some no-name-little-upstart. It doesn’t matter. You’ve got a degree and someone fooled you into thinking that the title “Editor” really meant something. So you have to flex your muscles, ok. Don’t flex them on me though.

I’m tired of you asking me idiotic questions about pieces I write.

In a recent article I wrote this statement: “The Civil War was the bloodiest insurrection to take place on American soil.” You asked me for my sources. Whaa….??? Some things are just common sense.

In another piece I wrote regarding a homeless shelter’s location.” I said, “It’s three blocks over and….”. OK, I get it. I was hurrying and put an apostrophe in “its” where it doesn’t belong. Mistakes happen. But did you really have to reject the piece because of one apostrophe? I suspect in the time it took you to write the email, blasting me for my “poor punctuation” and STRONGLY suggesting that I revisit my “goal” of being a freelance writer and…well, I think you could’ve just put the apostrophe in and be done with it. But no.

Mr. (or Ms.) Junior editor, please remember something. I am your customer. You exist to make my writing better and more readable. You don’t exist to make my life more complex. If it weren’t for me, and others like me, you wouldn’t have a job. You’re here to work for me, not the other way around.

So let me make a few suggestions.

When I send you a piece, at least acknowledge receipt of it. Don’t set on it for 3 days and then send me an email complaining about a misplaced apostrophe.

Please be prompt in your correspondence with me. You want me to turn that 500 word piece about Bosnia around in 12 hours, yet you think you’re so important that you need to wait a week to answer a simple question of mine.

I could go on, but I think you’re starting to see how disgusted I am with you.

From now on, I will only work for editors that are at least 40 years old, have coffee stains on the front of their shirt and still realize that without freelance writers like myself, they would be out of a job.

Now, good day and get your candy-ass self out of my way and take that sheepskin with you.

One thought on “Open Letter to Editors

  1. Actually, because “it’s” is a contraction of “it is,” the phrase “It’s three blocks over and….” is correct. Unless the homeless shelter owned the 3 blocks, in which case “its three blocks over” makes partial sense except for that pesky “over” word that is now creating some head-scratching.

    Point still taken, though. If he was correcting your correct contraction, he’s still an idiot.

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