Maybe you ask: Alizah! Why do you take an editing job for no pay at this new Sasson Magazine, when you can easily make a hundred an hour?
And you haven’t thought about it.
First let’s make a distinction: there are editing jobs and there are EDITORS.
An editing job means you are a drudge.
EDITOR means DOMINION: You say what goes in and what goes out, wield authority just short of life and death over novelists, storytellers, and poets, and hold sway over public taste.
Those editors who reject stories with a curt “thanks, but we’ll pass” [meaning they can’t see out of the box, and so they can’t know how good, funny, and deep your stories are], these other editors finally realize they messed up and missed out.
It crosses your mind that readers may even cancel their subscriptions and subscribe to Sasson Magazine instead…
And now you know that yes, editorial power corrupts; the evil in you is starting to surface.
And tonight you’re not sure of yourself, despite the exalted title, ‘Editor’.
One talented writer submitted three poems. In turn, you exercised your rightful editorial authority by rejecting one of them, just one out of three, just for the time being, because this poem mentions Purim.
You mean obviously it’s almost Rosh HaShanah, and Purim is a long way off.
So you get a message to the poet, and the publisher and you are suddenly barraged with compelling reasons why the Purim poem has to be published now: after all, the poet’s name is related to Purim! And other compelling reasons: there are deep connections between this poem and that one; and the message is important; it must get out, the sooner the better; and you are clipping my wings; and no we can’t change the word ‘Purim’ to ‘Rosh Hashanah’ to make it timely.
And then you know you are just another crummy editor who can’t think out of the box, no better than the worst of them.