Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Revelations of an Editor

"A good editor is one who encourages a writer to write his best. Being an editor is a kind of selfless thing--again and again your own wisdom and insight are absorbed invisibly by the author, who then signs his name." John Updike

When Syamarani dasi (aka Jadurani dasi) discovered that I loved to write, she proposed to me that I help her edit a long-anticipated book. I agreed, if a bit naively. So for the past several months, I have poured hours and hours into editing various manuscripts. I have found that editing is a grueling, unglamorous process. 

And I love it. 

There’s no fame at the end. No one knows (or cares) who the editor of a book is. The only glory is to maybe hold a finished book in your hand one day with the knowledge that in some small way... you served. 

And no one knows

That, I realize in the most profound way, is the best part. 

And so last month, I met the gurukuli Nandini dasi, who was the editor of Radhanath Swami’s recent book, The Journey Home. (And I’ll bet you had no CLUE of that fact.) 

“Nandini, however did you receive such a service?” I inquired. "I admit, I'm quite jealous." I added.

Nandini smiled. “My husband and I are old friends of Ram das [the publisher]. So he directed Maharaj to me.”

“Amazing. Have you ever met Maharaj?”

“No, I haven’t,” she replied. 

“Are you serious?”


“When you do... Oh man, he is going to shower you with so much love.”

She laughed and then grew serious. “When I read the story of how he met Srila Prabhupad, I wept.”

She reviewed that piece of writing? “Oh my,” I murmured. 

Now that is the joy of being an editor. 


varada (aka brajvilasini) said...

i love this post.this made me felt so fresh after gruelling day at work with overdose of writing and travelling. keep writin and inspiring bhakti:)loads of luv and hugs ys brajvilasini

Jay said...

I can relate to the joys of editing too. Ever since I got assigned the service of assisting with editing the magazine http://quintmag.com/, I simply love getting to read about my Guru Maharaja HH Romapada Swami's programs by devotees BEFORE they get on the website! Through this I get to accompany my Guru Maharaja all over even though I almost never get to travel.......

Bhakti lata said...

It's great to hear from both of you, as you are writers and editors. With fellow writers I feel you understand the hard work that goes into composition. So thanks for your encouragement!

To write is to dare the soul. So write.