Editors are often known, at least within our own circles, to be introverts. The other night, I was sitting right beside a singer-songwriter I was sure I recognized. It was a very small club filled with friends of the musical acts. The performer seemed personable enough, but rather than introduce myself and say something like “Weren’t you in a really popular band back in the early 90s?” I surreptitiously googled him. Yep, I was right. Founding member of the Lowest of the Low, who soared and fizzled within 2 frenetic years of recording one of the 10 best Canadian albums ever and playing to thousands of rabid fans. Of course, I wouldn’t have gotten as much juicy detail from a face-to-face conversation as I did from Wikipedia, but it might have been a pleasant exchange. I’ll never know!
Being an introvert is a frequently misunderstood quality. We’re not really aloof, and not necessarily shy. We just absorb what’s going on around us, figure out how each person present is feeling and think about how we want to respond. These are great characteristics for editors. We have in our care someone else’s personal thoughts, opinions and creative expression. We mustn’t interfere with their intended message or their literary voice. That takes careful analysis, observation, and quiet reflection. We gently massage the words on the page and polish the prose until it shines. Then we humbly hand it over and enjoy watching the writer take centre stage. Their success is our success.
Editors spend a lot of time alone, staring at a computer. That suits us just fine, as we enjoy and are energized by time with our own thoughts. So its almost like editors are created through natural selection. No square pegs being stuffed into round holes here! So if you find yourself needing an editor for a writing project, don’t judge us at the first meeting for being too quiet. We may not be the life of the party, but we definitely have your best interests at heart and the tools to give you the results you’re looking for.