Instead of trying to be someone that you are not, be the best at what you are. My own writing practices are the direct opposite of that followed by these prolific and renowned writers. I write only when I have something to say. The big disadvantage of this is that it can mean a lot of down time. There are manuscripts of mine that sat around gathering dust for years without a word being added to them. How then have I managed to write more than 20 books within the Biblical threescore and ten years?
He reserves especial scorn for incompetent copy-editors …
If there is any rhyme or reason to the way editing varies from one editor to another, it seems to be this: The less the editor has written under his own name, the more he wants to write under someone else’s name. An editor who has written a couple of best sellers is likely to be much less intrusive than an English major fresh out of college.
For reasons unknown, some copy-editors seem to think that words with similar sounds are substitutes for one another. But there is a big difference between Londonderry air and London derriere.
… by which he apparently means most of us.
But don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that all editors should be shot at sunrise; Midge Decter is an exception. So is Jim Michaels, who edited Forbes magazine for many years. If I thought about it for another day or so, I might come up with a third example.
Then there are book reviewers who haven't read the book, radio interviewers who haven't read the book …
Good skewering. Just remind me never to cross him.