Some of the days in your many-layered job, you’ll spend time as a writer/editor. Here are 18 essential survival tips for the 5 selves in you:
- Be a reader first and an editor second and a writer third. Listen and then give it your own touch.
- Pick your fights. If you have to build your ego, take up martial arts. Advocate for your readers and their rights to the TRUE facts and all sides of a story. All else follows.
- Impose your standards, not your personal style, and know that many voices speak as loud as one.
The Big Spender
- Know what it costs—like the expense of missing deadlines and author’s alterations.
- Don’t lobby for glitz—go for substance. Stretch your budget through careful planning.
- Spend time and money finding new, better sources and suppliers. Be on the lookout for the best talent.
- Negotiate contracts and get things in writing.
- Develop a proofreading system and take time for the details or you may regret it.
- Read all heads, blurbs and captions and evaluate how interesting they are. If they bore you, guess who else they’ll bore.
- Critique your work and compete with yourself to do even better next time.
- Spend money for your—and your staff’s—professional development and inspiration. Refresh your creativity.
- Spend time and money to go out to your readers. You need direct feedback face to face.
- Tolerate the needy complainer; nurture your creative staff and freelancers.
- Read books, go to galleries, take classes. Develop your creative self.
- Take time off from your left brain to free associate. Build flights of fancy into your schedule.
- Practice writing, even using correspondence, memos and journal entries as vehicles of self-expression. Everything you write is important.
- Make friends in the profession. You need colleagues; you can find them at conferences and reunions.
- You transmit culture, knowledge and values. You are more than your dreams. You do important work.
Advice by Carol Cheney and the late Marsha Scott Gori; cat by Dan Snyder