Seth Godin to editor: If all you want is safe, have baby food for dinner. Just leave me out of it.

I rarely point to anything written by Seth Godin since I figure by the time a reader has made it here, he or she has seen several links to whatever Seth may have written that day. However, today I can’t help myself from pointing to his early-morning post that is a public reply to some editing by a new copy-editor at his publisher.

I’m anticipating an off-the-grid day, but before heading out I couldn’t help myself from pointing to this instant blog-post classic from Seth Godin — a public dress-down of a newly assigned copy-editor from his book publisher. It’s the post authors and writers who blog dream of writing, but never due: discretion being the better part of valor, and all.

I’m sure there will be authors and writers all over the world bookmarking this post and e-mailing it around today.

Here’s a snippet:

“Just got some work back from a new copyeditor hired by my publisher. She did a flawless job. She also wrecked my work. Totally wrecked it. By sanding off every edge, removing every idiom, making each and every fact literally correct, she made it boring and dry and mechanical. If they have licenses for copyeditors, she should have hers revoked.”

I guess an e-mail from Seth to the editor would have conveyed the message, but I’m very glad we all got to be spectators on this one.

Later: As a clarification (thanks to the comment Seth made below), read the entire post and you’ll see that Seth’s point is this: an author has the power to respond with STET.

  • Hudge

    I bet you enjoy toddler tantrums at the supermarket too.

  • Of course, it wasn’t a post about MY copyeditor. Yes, I could have written her a note, but it’s just as easy for me to STET the comments I don’t like.

    The point of the post was to make it clear to everyone else (and if you read the part that wasn’t quoted, you’ll see) that you have the same power.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Seth.

  • Randy Ellison

    I once the heard the story about a well known writer who after 50 pages of total frustration simply wrote STET ALL on the cover page of the manuscript and sent it back to the editor.