For Aspiring Editors

Smith & Wesson Model 686 Revolver with Cylinder OpenThanks to the blog Letters of Note we now know what it’s like to edit a magazine.

After William Saroyan wrote to H.L. Mencken in 1936 to ask the man’s advice on starting and editing a magazine, Mencken responded with the following:

Dear Saroyan,

I note what you say about your aspiration to edit a magazine. I am sending you by this mail a six-chambered revolver. Load it and fire every one into your head. You will thank me after you get to hell and learn from other editors there how dreadful their job was on earth.