The convenience of working electronically is that I can send things to my editor without having to go to the post office. I can answer a message any time of the day or night. I can send something off the moment I get the message.
But the true beauty of working electronically is that I don’t have to do everything at the speed of light. I can take my time.
I don’t have to answer an e-mail within five minutes of receiving it. I can ponder my response, weigh my options, write a draft and then look it over after dinner. The next day.
When an editor puts out a call for a certain type of manuscript, I don’t have to have my piece flying to her in-box in the next 90 seconds. I can Google her name, read some reviews and even get ahold of some of what she’s already published. That’s right. I can do my research. And once I’m satisfied that she would be a good match, I can send in my work using the buzz words and phrases that will speak to her. Incidentally, I found those buzz words while doing my research.
I don’t have to work at the speed of light. And neither do my editors. That means that when I send something in, I shouldn’t expect a response in the next hour. It might happen, but that’s not the norm. When I send an e-mail asking a question, I need to remember that she might be driving home, in a meeting, or (GASP) editing someone else’s work!
Something about working electronically and the speed at which we can communicate seems to make us think that is the speed at which we should communicate. Sometimes it’s okay to get something back to get something back out that quickly. “Hey, Sue. You forgot to attach the manuscript.” (Who? Me?) But other times it is better to take it slow especially when an editor has commented on my work.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go. I’m making dinner. From scratch. Meals are another one of those things that can be improved when I take my time.