Michael Kinsley has an excellent article in Time about the editor/writer dynamic at publications. He sides with the writer.
Writers, [editors] say, are whiny, self-indulgent creatures who spend too much time alone. They are egotistical, paranoid and almost always seriously dehydrated. Above all, they are spectacular ingrates. Editors save their asses, and writers do nothing but bitch about it.
It’s absolutely strange to watch the transformation of someone from staff writer to editor. Everyone who goes through it experiences this loss of the romanticism about writing. Being an editor makes a person realize how haughty, demanding and spoiled a writer can be. The focus for an editor is readability and getting the issue in on time – nothing about artistic merit or “voice” – just the realistic fact that people have to read this newspaper.
I think there’s value to that, though. It crosses the line (and Kinsley especially acknowledges this), when the editor mistreats the writers like they’re complete underlings: ignoring emails, hacking at random paragraphs to save a few words, etc.
Being an editor at the Loyolan has sucked the creativity right out of me, but I think it’s made my articles better. I can’t wait to see what happens over the summer when I’m completely out-of-touch with editorial.