How to Be a Writer That Editors Want to Work With

People ask me constantly where they can find writing jobs, but here’s something we don’t talk about enough: If you’re a writer that is easy to work with, work will find you. People will seek you out. Here are a few ways you can be a writer that every editor wants to work with.

Get Your Work Done Early

Forget “on time.” Take the deadline you have and move it up. There’s your real deadline. Get it done early so your editor doesn’t have to hound you or waste time finding out where you are with the work.

Be Flexible

Things change. The writing world is nothing but change these days. So go with it. Don’t get comfortable. If you have a job you like right now, be glad. But be prepared for things to change.

Don’t Complain

Professional writers work and don’t complain. They might not like everything that’s handed them (in fact, there’s a good chance they won’t like it) but they won’t complain about it to the editor (or on Facebook, Twitter, or to a group of other writers).

If you’ve gotta vent, do it with a trusted friend.

Embrace the Fact That Your Work Needs to Be Edited

Everyone gets edited, but some writers really take offense at this. They shouldn’t. It’s part of the process. Even if you never complain to your editor, the fact that you don’t like editing or are resisting it in some way will come across to them. Learn to accept and embrace editing and you’ll have an easier time working with someone.

Talk Through Things

If you work with one editor long enough you’ll probably develop a rapport where you can talk through things. Even then, pick your battles. There are genuinely some times when things should not be changed. Perhaps your editor doesn’t have the 411 on the background, and you can explain why things should stay just as they are.

But be cautious about this and don’t dig your heels in on everything. Pray on the advice you’re being given and think about it a while before you decide to push back.

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