A Farewell and an Invitation
Lindsey Joyce encourages you to become an editor, especially at Haywire!
In 2003, when I changed my career course and enrolled in a Professional Writing and Editing program at West Virginia University, I did so for two reasons: 1) It seemed like a practical business move for a new mother 2) I’d always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t think I had the talent for creative writing. One reason masked the tough reality of the other.
What I didn’t realize then was how personally fulfilling being an editor would become for me. I naively saw it as an essential, but somehow less meaningful contribution to writing than the act of writing itself. I’ll blame culture: we romanticise writing and authorship, but not editing.
Working as an editor, however, takes a lot of talent. I’ll stand behind the statement that it takes as much talent as being a writer. It also requires finesse – working alongside writers and with their words, their passions, their dreams and visions is not easy; it takes grace and trust, and both must be earned. Editing is also a gift – one many writers envy. It’s being invited into someone elses ideas while they are still taking shape, and being asked to aid in the process of creation. When Roland Barthes wrote The Pleasure of the Text, I think he was really talking to editors. Together the writer and editor come together to create writerly texts, to make bliss.
I’ve now been working as an editor, in one capacity or another, for the last seven years. Of all that time, of all the people and all the content I have had the pleasure of working with, my time at Haywire has been truly special. The team here is, in a word, extraordinary. Each columnist here has a distinct voice and approach, yet despite their differences, they remain supportive of one another: signal boosting, discussing ideas, jumping in to help when a deadline gets close or when writer’s blocks rears it’s terrible face. Haywire also has an incredible team of editors, all of whom seem naturally able to provide inherently constructive criticism. They inspire the desire to create better works, and they possess both the grace and trust required to incite it in our writers. In short, Haywire is a rare gem in the publishing world. It exists not as a business, or as a collection of egos, but as a community interested in constructive dialogues and progress.
It is with a heavy heart, then, that I announce my departure from Haywire. In the short time I’ve been here, Haywire has become a virtual home. Not only did I have the pleasure of adopting the existing columns, I had the opportunity to aid in the creation of two new ones. I am proud to have been included in the community that exists here, and it’s a really hard job to leave. But, I was offered full-time employment as a copyeditor at a software company, and must renegotiate my time in lieu of that new position. I won’t be able to give Haywire what it deserves anymore, at least not as it’s Managing Editor.
You can make my loss your gain, though! I will be spearheading the effort to find a new Managing Editor for Haywire. Interested? Here’s a rundown of what will be expected of the new Managing Editor:
You will be in charge of managing, editing and posting columns, but can also get involved with features and other projects if interested. You will also have the freedom to implement changes to help Haywire grow, pending approval from the EIC and editorial team. Keep in mind, as with all positions on this site, this one is sadly unpaid. To balance, it doesn’t come with the unrealistic expectations other places might have for candidates. This position is about learning, not about knowing. You don’t need any kind of experience to apply for it. Remember what I said about the community at Haywire? This is the sort of place that will help you learn, to grow, and better your own craft.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you and I’ll be happy to answer any question you might have. Applications will be open until the role is filled.
In closing, I want to say thank you to everyone at Haywire and to its readers. It isn’t every day you find work you sincerely look forward to and enjoy doing. I had that here, and it’s made all the difference. Editing here was never the execution of practicality – it was a joy. I’m better for having been with you. I’m better because you helped make me so.