My boss laughed at me and said that my way would need infinite time, would require great resources, and that after all, not all manuscripts turn into glossy books.
I had a problem with that because I feel everyone has something to say that is worth listening to, its just that some can't really find the most effective way to do that. Then we got into this big argument, about whether being an editor is really being an egotistical, literary snob that think their view is superior to others. Whether it fulfills some deep need to play God and decide on the fate of people. (That was mostly my argument...)
His response was that as with children, so with books, you have to give guidelines, give nudges, give a certain direction. And eventually, each to his own, shall become and produce whatever they have inside them, which very often can be something very disappointing, or absolute idiocy. Other times it can be brilliant, true poetry. He said I can't take it upon me to save every book and publish everyone's idea.
That I can't sit down with each writer and re-write whole sections, rearrange entire messages, like you can't take a child and live his life for him in order to show him the right way.
I said that If that meant making these people happy, giving them their dream, it was worth it. I repeated that I had read 12 manuscripts and loved them all, each for its own reason and that I would try to save them all, and he responded that I would fail both as an editor, as well as a mother...
I got angry and said that I still believe in the good in people, in creating rather than judging, in nurturing rather that destroying. That there are enough critics but not enough thinkers, that there are enough editors but not enough writers.
He threw a pad and a pen towards me and said "Then write about this".
Furious, I did. I wrote this text. He read it and laughed, and said:
"Welcome to publishing. Where nothing makes sense, where you smell books and dream punctuation, where you constantly read, and listen to music, and feel inspired. You're gonna love it. And don't you ever change".
He then passed me another 12 manuscripts to skim through. "Please hate at least half of them".
I read them and loved them all.
I'm never going to change.