How to find a good editor? I have several good ones. Why several? Each for a specific genre of writing. One for each language too. If you are writing in two languages you will need editors conversant in each specific language. In terms of genre you just cannot mix up. For example, how can an atheist understand anything about Christianity? And vice versa. The depth and breadth of the editor is important too. I first encountered two editor friends in my younger days, working for two rivaling big newspapers. Both attended the same church! Both were in charge of the literature section. Later one was promoted to the section for the Editorial/Opinion columnists/contributors on politics,business,economics and social commentary etc. I was thus given a chance to contribute a variety of articles and get published. I was not aware of their professions until we were rather close friends. They knew I could write and they volunteered to read and publish for me. They even delivered the monetary payments to me together with the acknowledgement slips I needed to sign. Thinking back, I recall more of our friendship and the quality time we had spent together as friends standing for/with each other through thick and thin times. I was not really that concerned with whether my articles were published or not. Often they had to keep reminding me to write so they could do something for me. What did I do for them? Lots of stuff that mattered to them. We grew together in our respective professions. I was fully engaged in the corporate fast-track. One of them got married and settled down in juggling her editorial (for a national newspaper) and family career (‘raising’ a husband and one son). Another one joined a big national Christian counseling publisher. I went on to where I am today, moving from one fast-track to another and eventually settling onto this relaxed narrow lane of writing as an amateur but almost full time. Sometimes I happen to pass by their cities and manage a call in the airport. Often I don’t. We just get on with each of our lives with a memory of a good time together. The time we were. From a long term perspective, I am touched today to quote the following from a poetic metaphor by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882):
1874, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn, part 3, section 4:
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.