I’ve been an editor for a couple of months but this is the first time I’ve felt the stress that comes with being one of the top dogs. I have to constantly harass the writers, check on how their articles are doing, edit and coordinate with the other editors on how to run the organization. If being a Features editor is this stressful, I could only imagine how hard it must be being the editor-in-chief. There is also tremendous pressure because the next issue will be my first column and I want it to be perfect. Weeks after I submitted it, I still check it, looking at the tiniest details and my choice of words. I hem, I haw, and check typographical errors and the most minute errors in grammar. Add to that the stress of picking the picture that will be displayed next to my column and my interview with the school’s owner and tell me who wouldn’t break down and cry!
Without a doubt, features is one of the most demanding parts of any publication. Let’s be honest. Not a lot of people read the news, especially when it’s a quarterly publication [save for GQ and Metro hiM]. Most go straight to the features – or the stuff that you see on the cover. As the editor of that section, a lot is expected of me. I have to think of innovative topics, maybe even a few controversial ones. Squeeze the writers of every last drop of creative cum to get ideas. Like what I mentioned, I have to harass them constantly to make sure they haven’t forgotten their deadlines. On the same vein, I have to be nice, warm, friendly. There is truth in the saying that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Once they submit their articles – the real task begins. I have to edit. Editing is a task in itself because you have to correct errors – from spelling to sentence construction to conviction and choice of words. As a writer, I am very particular with words and avoid redundancy at all costs. Editing is hard because you have to right wrongs without reducing the article to a blank page. What’s hard is you can’t put yourself in it. After all, it’s not your article.
I initially had misgivings about accepting the position. I can be terribly lazy and unreliable and my level of commitment usually goes down the drain after the first obstacle. I can’t really say that I’m a quitter, but I tend to lose interest along the way. Subconsciously [yes, I psychoanalyze myself], I am afraid of responsibility. Mostly, I am afraid of failing but to a certain extent, failure is in conjunction with responsibility, especially when you are responsible for a whole group of people. I guess the only reason I took the position because it would be cool to be an editor. I know it’s selfish of me to take the position because of its coolness factor, but I had my reasons.
However, as I was doing my first rounds of editing last Friday, I surprisingly found it easy. Slipping into the shoes of editor seemed as comfortable as slipping into a favorite pair of bedroom slippers. I felt at ease. At home. Most importantly, I enjoyed. Maybe the reason why I make a good editor is because I am a perfectionist and a detail-freak. I realized that I could be doing this for the rest of my life. Editing. Writing. Although my future looks bright in the field of psychology [as compared to non-Psychology graduates], I realized that at the bottom of my heart, writing is my passion.
It is tiring. It is mentally exhausting and emotionally draining. Last night, to blow off steam, I went to Mall of Asia with the folks to have dinner and watch Bedtime Stories. After the movie, I went to Ascend with Gio and Ysa where I got rat-faced on Jack Daniels and Jäger. A perfect way to abandon all types of responsibility and just go on and on and on.