Ever watch the TV show Impractical Jokers? It’s a hidden camera show with four lifelong friends who challenge each other to take part in embarrassing situations and showcasing people’s reactions. If you haven’t yet indulged, it is definitely worth a watch! You will laugh, a lot! The four friends (Joe, “Murr”, “Q”, and Sal) met at an all-boys Catholic high school where they realized their love of improv and theatre. Watching these guys on TV is so funny because their friendship is authentic. The work they do seems easy because they are truly having a blast. And that is how I feel about editing with Laura and Leslie!
We met years ago in a writing group, and when Laura suggested the Backchannels venture, Leslie and I were thrilled to join her. Our editing meetings are not like an Impractical Jokers show, but we do laugh, cry, collaborate, drink tea, eat chocolates, and talk about all the fantastic and varied submissions we receive. We may sit cross-legged on the floor, Laura’s cat purring on the rug in the sun. We will probably tell her dog Jasper to not eat the cheese and crackers on the coffee table, and with the glow of our laptops as a backdrop, we begin our creative process.
So there you go, editing de-mystified and normalized and hopefully more approachable for all. What I find to be the best aspect is that I get to be a part of this literary adventure with my friends, with women I value. A plus is that we are also very different readers, looking for different things in a piece of writing, and because of that, we end up with a diverse collection of work for each edition. For me, I look for writing that makes me feel something or think deeply, or reflect on something I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. If I’m still ruminating over a submission the following day, I know I have to put it in the acceptance folder because others will likely agree.
That said, as a writer, it can feel like a mystery when you send something off into the publishing abyss. Please know that on the other end, there are real people who care about story who will treat your writing with care and consideration. On the other end there are people who are writers themselves, who understand the journey of revision and revision and submission and waiting. We get it. On the other end there are people whose intention it is to offer a positive experience, acknowledgement, and a chance to connect. Here on this end there are people who are friends, like the Impractical Jokers, who have fun and laugh and love this opportunity to bring writers from around the world together, offering a platform for publication.
So, it’s not really an abyss at all. Your submissions are safe in our hands, in Laura’s living room, with her pets, and friendship, and a desire to sort through beautiful words and images. And we thank you for sharing with us.