I am an extremely critical reader. There is very little that I find I like anymore…or perhaps (from my point of view) there is so much to not like out there. And to have to read them…even first pages…would be an epic failure on my part.
Simply put, I could never be an editor (or reviewer). I’d reject everything. Everything but that one piece.
And maybe that’s where most editors come from! I’ve heard from many essentially the same thing: that they’re just looking for reasons to reject us. They have so many manuscripts to pore over that they’re looking for any reason to reject…even if you spelled their name incorrectly (I wouldn’t do that—this happens too frequently to me from the rank-and-file—and I’m not that nasty). But I think I’m beginning to see their point, even if they are paid to read our stuff. At first I was quite put off by that statement…but, yeah, I think I finally get it.
It’s not that I only find my own work “good” or interesting…it’s just that most of what I find I just don’t like, and it’s not always about the writing itself. It’s what the writing’s about. There are some writers I know who are damned good writers…I just don’t like their work (stories). That is nothing against them! They’re doing well and I love that! I just seem to have a limited scope of interest, you could say.
And, yes, I can usually tell if a story is “good” on its own, even if I don’t like it. The writing’s there…the world building…the characters…and finally, the story. It’s all about the story for me.
If I don’t like your work…that doesn’t mean it isn’t good!
I just could never be an editor.