Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A Writer's Nightmare

A Writer's Nightmare
The greatest nightmare of a journalist is when his or her written work is modified beyond recognition by the editor.

Throughout my experience as a writer and journalist for many publications, my writings have seldom been edited more than 10 per cent, and I respect editors for that.

My nightmare came not so long ago when I have to work with an editor I have never worked with before. The article which I was assigned to write for a trade magazine was a technology article on wireless solutions. As part of the required content for the article, I was required to work with as many corporations as possible to find out how these solutions have helped their businesses and to obtain quotes from them, and from people in the industry. After many hours of hard work and interviews on phone (which cost money), I painstakingly wrote the article and compiled quotes from many key people in the business world, trade associations and government bodies.

When the article was finally submitted to the editor after many rounds of self editing, the editor decided instead that all the quotes be lifted off to focus on an out-of-date aspect of wireless technologies instead! The irony is technology is an area of my expertise and I have worked in the IT industry for many years, while the editor admitted that she is NOT into technology at all.

When the article was finally published in the trade and business magazine, I was no longer able to recognize its content except for some minor semblance which I am unwilling to accept or acknowledge openly to be mine. In fact, I feel shamed by it and fear that it may hurt my reputation as a credible technology writer.

That was the last time I worked with the editor.


Fixing Your Image said...

Freelance writing is a very interesting topic for me. Not that I am a writer, let alone a freelance one, but I aspire to be many things, and a writer might someday be one of them.

But, the post about your Writer's Nightmare is something that bothered me in the back of my mind for the longest time. Then I decided, well, since I am not a real writer anyway, I might as well post my stories and ideas and see what happens. Now you got me worried again. :)



Writer n Journalist said...

Hi Bonewalker

Your fiction writing at your blog looks good, so I believe you will do fine as a writer. If you plan to do freelance to write for different publishers, just adhere to house style rules, add a little of your own unique way of writing and things should go well with you.

Since you are already writing chapters in your blog, you may want to send some chapters of your work to publishers for comments. If they like it, they will want to publish it. In this way, you don't have to spend a cent and they will pay you about 10 per cent loyalty for each book sold. This approach, however, will not help you make much money. The only advantage is you get 'free' publicity through the help of the publisher, who incidentally has better distribution channels. Once your book has become popular and your name established as a bestseller author, publish your second book on your own and earn more money.

Fixing Your Image said...

Good thoughts. And thanks for the compliment. :) I hope you enjoyed the story.

I will look into finding a publisher who might be interested, and then cross my fingers that it actually draws an audience, let alone makes me famous.

Thanks again.


Thesis Writing said...

nice very nice observation as a writer i do believe in such kind of acceptable nightmares...

Thesis Writing said...

nice very nice observation as a writer i do believe in such kind of acceptable nightmares...