Sunday, December 02, 2007

Day Job

I'm filling out a questionnaire for a website about artists in day jobs.*

Lots of artists and writers have day jobs. Some of them suck, while others aren't so bad. Ideally, you get health insurance. I'm wondering why I claim to be a writer with a comic book editor job on the side, instead of a comic book editor who dabbles in writing, when my job takes up ninety percent of my working time (the rest being taken up by procrastinating on the Internet). I guess I lie to myself sometimes.

But I'm giggling gleefully as I fill it out, because how many people can say this?

Day job: Editor in Chief for a comic book company headquartered in Kuwait with offices in Cairo and Manhattan.

I'm struggling with the question of what three people I'd like to read my work. Oprah is the easy one, the 200 points just for spelling my name right. Who else would I want to read my books?

*apologies to Otis Ball. He knows why.


Marie Javins said...

How about Terry Gross? She can be second after Oprah.

Linda said...

Diane Rehm!

Ed Ward said...

Yeah, Terry'd give you a nice sales bump. Maybe, given your subject matter and all, a better one than Oprah.

Steven R. Stahl said...

Ah, the joys of editing so often go underappreciated!

I understand that thinking of oneself as primarily a writer, rather than an editor, favors creativity over revision, and inspiration over a focus on the mechanics of writing, but an editor can recognize inspiration and improve (refine) what’s produced as a result. There’s great satisfaction to be had from taking a piece with weaknesses, and removing them, or spotting a subtle error that diminishes the point of an essay, or, in the case of a rewrite, taking an idea that’s been poorly expressed and expressing it well. Of course, there’s also the embarrassment of missing an error that, in retrospect, was obvious (“Oh, (expletive deleted)”), or printing a correction that contains an error.

Since editors are under less pressure to feel inspired, they can also take overviews of material that might not occur to writers. Reshape genes, reshape characters, reshape universes--editors can think about those subjects without worrying about producing a story immediately.

IMO, working as an editor and as a writer is the perfect combination of jobs.