What I’m looking for:
An editor with fingers permanently stained with ink, the perspective of a hilltop hermit, a mind like a steel katana, the jaws of a pit bull, and eyes that burn like branding irons to help me figure out what the hell I’m doing. (Speaking of branding irons, I realize that this branding thing is an integral part of one’s marketing strategy today so what the hell, I’m game.)
Someone with zero tolerance for empty compliment, obtuse philosophy, or beating around the bush: A bushwhacker, a blunt arrow straight to the heart, an unvarnished idol carved in wood. Tell it to me straight, my friend.
Someone strong enough to wrestle my pages to the floor and mark them to shreds with a blood red pen. Someone who’ll find the butterflies buried in my worms, who’ll take me firmly by both shoulders and shake me like a tree until the ripest fruits rain down. (Note: I don’t require a man for all this manhandling, oh no, I’m sure a woman could do the job just fine, and she doesn’t have to wear black latex chaps to do it.)
Basically, I’m looking for someone who can screw up their eyes a little to blur the rough edges of my present tense and see the possibility of my future. I just want someone who believes in me. Yes, I’m confused, but I’m putty in your hands.
Calling all mentors, prof-types, mommies, daddies, gods, shrinks, and authorial authorities with real editorial skills: Take me, I’m yours.
What I have to offer:
Would genuflection, foot rubs, and hyperbolic yet heartfelt compliments suffice? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to see your face tattooed on someone else’s chest. I will go to Times Square, put on a sandwich board with your name on it, and sing your favorite song. I will clean out your refrigerator, organize your closets, name my children after you. I will thank you first in the acknowledgments, I will owe it all to you and never, ever forget it. Of course, if I ever earned actual, tangible money thanks to you, if you could do for me anything like what Gordon Lish did to Raymond Carver, then you could keep every penny.
Call me. 555-I-NEED-HELP.
My phone’s on vibrate for you. 🙂 ;}
This post was inspired by this funny ad I found in McSweeney’s.