Why Be an Editor?


By Mick Spillane


I am often asked, “How did you become an editor?” “What made you want to work sub rosa?” Actually, no one I know ever used the term “sub rosa.” I like it.


To answer those questions, a great copy editor is a nitpicker, a bit of neat freak, very organized—again, one who cares. I’m not saying others do not care. Everyone has his or her own concerns. However, in the domain of writing, it is the editor who cares about authentic expression, organization, intelligibility, and logic. It is my job as a copy editor to despise the non sequitur, inconsistencies, arguments ad hominem, jargon, clichés, and just bad writing. I believe that commas and colons matter, and yes, spelling a word is important. I am more than happy to help.


There is a saying in the editorial profession, "One of the great things about being a copy editor is freedom from vulgar desire of public recognition."


Overall, it is pertinent that I develop a working aspiration for the ideas that are brought to me.


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