One more thing about yesterday's topic. The editor/not-editor in question said at the end of his e-mail that writing means having to do homework every day for the rest of your life.
Now this is a trend I've found in some advice-givers, that they try to discourage you for no apparent reason by preventing some bleak view of the task. In this case, he's trying to discourage me from writing by saying that it involves doing a negative activity... FOR ALL ETERNITY (ominous thunder). Why would he say such a thing if he didn't want to turn me away from the position? It's reverse psychology, like army training. "If you can't swim, you don't deserve to be at the beach". No one wants to do homework for the rest of your life. He never says that writing means creating fascinating universes and characters, and making people happy and entertained.
I think this is the result of a man who's become bitter and hateful, having made a job of reading crap for a living. I have no love for those people, because they chose their profession. If you choose to do something, even though you knew about its consequences when you made the decision, and then complain about those exact consequences, it makes me stabby. I hope that this guy isn't representative of editors as a whole.
It's plenty of fun to be evil, I'll admit. Nothing would please me more than telling the girl I just critiqued that her story is awful - it fits a standard cliche perfectly, the characters are propped up on popsicle sticks, and my unborn child gives me more fear than the 'nameless evil'. But that's the dark side of the force. That doesn't help anyone become a writer.