Yesterday on Twitter, the hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter sprang up and quickly rose to trending status. Some of them were pretty funny and some were maybe a little sad, because all of them are real and familiar to writers.
Later I got to thinking, there should be a #TenThingsNotToSayToAnEditor because, well, that’s what’s familiar to me. And we hear lots of things we’d rather not. Over and over. I mentioned this to my coworker (and fellow editor) and we quickly came up with (more than) 10 Things Not to Say to an Editor.
1. How in the world did [this mistake] happen? They should hire me. They must not have good editors over there.
2. Please don’t mark it up too much.
4. Author: Sorry I missed the deadline. I’m so swamped right now. ::Posts picture of riding a roller coaster on Instagram::
5. I had my friend [with no editorial experience or grammar skills] read this, and he thinks we should …
6. Will you do me a favor? Will you rewrite my paper/read my résumé/edit this email? I need to send it in 30 minutes.
7. I really want this quote I saw on Instagram in my book. I’m not sure who said it. It went something like …
8. That’s just my voice as a writer.
9. Will you read this manuscript/my blog and tell me what you think? For free?
10. From author the day before the book goes to print: I was just reading through this and I think I want to change this entire chapter.
11. Please don’t use red ink. It makes me anxious.
12. I can’t figure out how I want to say this. Will you just write something here? I trust you.
13. Can you add these numbers real quick?