I thought I’d chronicle my day (Tues., July 6, 2010), to give you an idea of what an average day in the life of an editor looks like. Well, an average day in my life as an editor, anyway. I can’t vouch for anyone else.
Be on the look-out for random moments of high glamour and pizzazz, because they crop up at every turn. Really.
9:00 a.m. -- Turn on laptop computer. Start by checking emails.
Email from author. Read his final revisions of short story for next issue of IGMS (author is vacationing in England right now, so process going slowly). Forward final draft of said story to IGMS managing editor (M.E.) for formatting.
Email from Tom, my artist partner on the comic, Dedd and Gohn. Discuss artwork/final draft of next three comics. After a few tweaks, forward final draft of comics to IGMS M.E. for immediate publication (they should have gone up Monday, but with the 4th of July holiday, we had an extra day).
9:35 -- Remember that there is still work to be done on business magazine, which has to be done on a different computer. Go turn on other computer and start program (which takes a while to be ready to use because it is such a large program and is installed on a somewhat outdated computer).
Phone IGMS M.E. to discuss other issues. No answer, leave voice mail.
Back to laptop. Send email to Peter Beagle’s business manager about status of story Peter is writing for IGMS (deadline looming large). Get down on both knees and pray for prompt response.
Send email to IGMS web designer about problems on one of the Hatrack pages (several of the people who work for OSC fill multiple roles), make sure he’s aware of problem.
Read and respond to email from an editor friend pointing out details of a certain book deal for a novel that is similar to one I am writing
Reply to query from author who subbed story to IGMS.
9:55 -- Seem to be caught up on emails and phone calls. Time to go check the other computer to see if it’s ready for work on business mag.
10 -- IGMS M.E. just called; she’s working from home this week, proofing Orson Scott Card’s next novel before it goes to his publisher (again, many of his people filling multiple roles). She and I talked for about 20 minutes, making sure everyone was on the same page so all the necessary work could continue moving forward.
10:20 -- Back to main computer. Recvd email from proofreader about business magazine pages I sent her last week. Open pdfs on laptop so I can work with her pages side-by-side with other computer that has my magazine editing program.
Check email on laptop while waiting for something to load on other computer. Reply to email from author friend about marketing idea she had.
Reply to email from voice actor doing the audio story for the next issue of IGMS; confirm deadline for final recording.
Send email to Tom containing next five scripts for Dedd and Gohn. Then call him on phone and discuss ways to streamline our process. (So much for being done with phone calls and emails. I think maybe this time I really am.)
10:35 -- Back to business mag. Currently editing a section called ‘UpFront,’ which is 6 - 8 pages filled with short snippets, each snippet anywhere from 1/3 to a full page long. Everything from entrepreneur profiles to business etiquette to how to write a press release. Lots of tedious detail-work. Details, details, details…
11:15 -- Curse at crappy computer. The monitor goes blank for no apparent reason, third time it’s happened today, and it’s not even lunch time yet.
12.55 – It’s over an hour and a half later. I finally broke down, went out, and bought a new computer monitor. It’s been acting up for weeks now and really affecting my productivity. It’s early afternoon now and I’ve got to make up lost time, so this little diary of a day in paradise is going to get cut short. I no longer have the luxury of stopping to record my every action. Gotta go install the new monitor, covert my edited pages for the business magazine into a pdf, forward pdf to my proofreader, and then settle in to read a few IGMS submissions.
Maybe I’ll try this again later in the week. Maybe…