Sometimes I wonder if my writers are aware that editing is not the only thing I do in my life.
It’s common to forget that the people you work with, or who are your bosses or teachers or doctors or whatever have a life apart from the role that you see them in. That doesn’t mean it’s alright; we’re all people regardless of whatever job we have, and we might have a million different responsibilities.
I like editing. I love it. There are sometimes when I wonder if I’d make a better editor than a teacher, and it’s nice to know that if I do ever decide to stop teaching that there’s another skill set that I have and am good at. There’s a managerial aspect to being the EIC of any journal or publication, and I like that too because I feel like leadership roles are ones I’m meant to play. My boss for the Odyssey has told me that the growth she’s seen from my campus has been incredible since I’ve been in charge; when I started, we had half the writers we have now, and the majority of those folks have left and been replaced by new writers. Generally speaking, I’m quick to respond to emails and requests, and I do a lot to keep my branch running smoothly.
I also am the EIC of Literature for The Bridge, which involves heavy editing, working with a team, and communicating between our literature team and our design team. This isn’t a job application, I promise. I’m just saying that these two roles are not necessarily part time gigs, and in the meantime, I’m also student teaching, which is definitely a full time job (that I even sometimes get paid for).
So I send weekly updates letting writers know what’s going on, because that’s part of my job, and because I feel like the people working for me should be kept within the loop. I don’t think that everyone reads them, which is obnoxious since I spend at least half an hour on the phone with my boss beforehand and then a good 20 minutes making sure all the information I need to provide to my writers in order for them to know what’s going on is in an email that they can always refer back to.
Do you know how frustrating it is to send someone information on a regular basis and then have them demand to know why their article hasn’t been published yet?
(The answer to that question was contained not only in the last email I sent, but in the previous three updates. It’s because we have between Monday and Wednesday to get them published, and because once something has been marked as EIC Edited, it’s out of my hands.)
I shouldn’t be super surprised, because I get at least one email a week asking me this, which is why every week when I send out the update, I make sure to mention our publishing schedule.
I just want to ask some of them if the know that the Odyssey isn’t my only job, but they should know, since my signature in my email includes both EIC positions I’m in. On top of the EIC thing, I’m also writing at least an article a week—which is why while I can understand the busy-ness of some of my writers’ day to day lives, it’s also like, c’mon. I’m doing it. At least give me a day’s notice if you’re not going to be able to meet the deadline.