Romantic Life Lessons

What Does a Romance Editor Do All Day?

This might not be an interesting question. In fact, I’m sure it’s not, but I get asked it all the time. So here goes: full disclosure. First of all, being an editor–at least in my world–is so not Sharon Stone’s character in the movie Sliver. I laugh at the gigantic apartment mostly. Am I the only one who saw this movie? Anyway, here’s my average day…

8:30-10am: This is my prime reading time. My office has amazing natural light so I take full advantage while reading. It’s the closest thing I have to a porch. I put my feet up, read and drink coffee that tastes like battery acid, my favorite. All that’s missing is the Country Time lemonade and the benevolent grandparents sitting nearby in rocking chairs.

Often, meetings happen in the 10am area. They last about an hour, maybe longer. Meetings are necessary and mostly an enjoyable break from staring at words–I find. It’s important to interact with real live people and my colleagues are a good bunch. Sometimes, there are snacks at these meetings–well, at least in meetings I facilitate. I just think donuts and M&Ms make the world a happier place. (lots of product placement in this post so far)

Between 11:30-12:30, I hit the gym because, as a morning person, I’m much more productive and alert in the afternoon if I work out. Plus, it neutralizes the chocolate eating and diminishes stress. I love my husband but I get a thrill out of watching Divorce Court while I run.

In the afternoon, I return phone calls, emails and do a lot of detail-oriented tasks–handing in books, updating a database, writing a memo, Tweeting & FBing, looking at numbers and lists and work-related blogs, obsessing about meeting deadlines, asking a question about a manuscript. My job involves a lot of sitting, so I try to move around once every 30 minutes. We sometimes have meetings in the afternoon, too.

Once I’ve finished with these details, I’ll do some more reading before retiring for the day. I go home between 4:30-5pm. A lot of my colleagues read on the commute home, but I play Angry Birds. It cleanses the palate because I tend to read even more when I get home.

Oh, so when do I edit? you ask. Well, either in the morning during my porch time or at night. To edit, I generally need a quiet few hours with no distractions. This is tough in an office environment, so I bring a lot of work home at night and on weekends. Since the sixth grade, I have hauled a heavy bag with me everywhere. My husband recently gave me a bag with wheels, which helps. I don’t like the idea of being stuck without a manuscript. Is it any wonder I read for a living?

You’d think I’d be sick of reading by evening. Sometimes I am and will indulge in some fierce knitting and a Criminal Minds, The Shield, or Gossip Girl marathon. But often, I will just keep going, reading some nonfiction or my trashy tabloids New Yorker. My eye muscles are just that used to inhaling words.

Now that I read this over, I see how pleasant my days usually are. I am lucky, for sure. Coffee, romance novels and chocolate. You really can’t go wrong.

3 thoughts on “What Does a Romance Editor Do All Day?”

  1. I love learning about the nuts and bolts of other people’s jobs. I’m always amazed when I talk to folks about being an author and they have this romantic vision of what it means…
    I’m allergic to M & M’s alas, but thankfully, that’s the coloring, not the chocolate. I eat LOTS of chocolate. It’s brain food, you know.

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