Think being an editor is a cushy job? Besides checking em dashes and spellings and verifying quotes, editors of Christian material have an added responsibility: making sure that God’s Word is accurately conveyed. This means looking up Scriptures, opening commentaries, checking maps, not putting words in God’s mouth…At least, that’s what good editors do.
I take very seriously the possibility that my edit (or failure to edit) could mislead someone. And sad to say, the carelessness of some writers is astonishing, so being on high alert is a must. I guess I was in warrior-editor mode when one day I wrote a song parody of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 1950s classic “Sixteen Tons.”
Some people say a man is made outta mud.
An editor’s made outta savvy and blood.
Savvy and blood—and he gets along
In a thankless job, with his word skills strong.
There was a chorus and other verses. The final verse was pretty sinister:
If ya see me comin’, better step aside.
A lotta writers didn’t; a lotta writers died.
One fist is theology, the other is steel.
If the right one don’t get ya, then the left one will.
OK, I was over the top that day. But you do want editors who take the job seriously. One of my writers used to call me the Little Piranha. I’m sure he meant it in the nicest possible way.