Internship: True Story, Part VII – The Big “N-O”

In conjunction with “The Chameleon Effect”, there is another, well – I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “lesson”, but there’s something else that takes getting used to when you work in publishing, or anywhere, really.  It’s number three on my list, but if we were ranking them, I’d say it’s number one: 3.  The Big “N-O”.

At every job you ever have (unless you are lucky enough to work for yourself – even then, this might still apply) there is going to be someone whose job it is to communicate the worst word in the English language (or any other language, for that matter): NO.

Having an editor is the hardest part of working in publishing (I assume).  I don’t think there’s anything worse than having to be told to change something that you spent two fucking hours going insane in your cubicle over.  I can’t tell you how many hours I spent stressing over tag lines, wondering if I should say if the whipped cream is “light”, “airy”, or “both”.

And, trust me, it’s not because I can’t take criticism or because I think I am so awesome that everything I write is perfect because I know that isn’t true.  Having an editor is a hard thing to get used to but it’s something we all eventually have to do.  It sucks and you may or may not get homicidal inclinations as you see a red pen floating across five hours worth of work – but you will be better for it.

I say this because I know it to be true.  My supervisors squeezed out the best of me whenever possible – even if I was writing a little blurb about glass bottles, or an email asking for samples, my writing was better after their help and advisement.  The best part about hearing the word “no” is knowing that the word “yes” isn’t that far behind.

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