Behind The Scenes: A Day in the Life of An Associate Editor

This Behind the Scenes highlighting a day in the life of an associate editor was originally published as an exclusive for Book Riot Insiders. Sign up for a free two-week trial and join the club!


Today, I’m throwing it back to yesterday. As in 2018, which truly feels like 1,000 years, when I wrote this piece for Book Riot Insiders as an associate editor. Honestly, who even is this person? I wrote this in the Before Times when I did things like leave my apartment. It’s odd to read about my past life from where I sit; somewhat akin to leafing through an archaeological record of a bygone era.

In any case, if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to wear the associate editor hat, here’s a picture of one such hat, though it may be slightly askew, distractedly decorated — a bit kooky.

Thursday, September 13

6:15 a.m.
Spent five minutes staring into the void, considering this: which would bring me the most satisfaction — staying in bed with my laptop and espresso, or leaving my bed to enjoy a slice of toast with said espresso? So much time wasted; staying in bed is always the correct answer.

7:00 a.m.
My apartment is perfect at this time of day. Payne’s gray, laptop-lit. Silent but for the odd yowls of a hungry, baffled cat.

I search myself for inner calm, I search the internet for Daily Deals.

7:30 a.m.
“What does Anna Wintour have for breakfast?” I wonder aloud to Tabitha. She meows noncommittally. “The liver of an enemy,” I tell her, wide-eyed with clairvoyance, “seared like ahi.”

My almond butter on toast mocks me. I gobble it up and fortify myself by lurking the #just-for-laughs channel of the contributor Slack.

8:50 a.m.
Covering Jenn’s Swords and Spaceships newsletter while she’s out. I decide against pasting in the high fantasy short story I wrote in 7th grade, which concluded with the genius phrase, “And then she woke up.” I write about novellas instead.

I predict I will be haunted by vague misgivings for the remainder of the day.

11:10 a.m.
Sitting in my car in the parking lot outside the doctor’s office. She gave me a high five for getting the flu shot. How clean can doctors’ hands actually be?

On the radio, Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” reaches its concluding crescendo. “Treat yourself,” I bark as if triggered by the antics of a hypnotist named Donna.

I leave the car at home and walk my day’s work to the coffee shop.

11:40 a.m.
I delight in asking for an Americano at the same cafe until I no longer have to ask. Because, one day, just when they think they know me, I will order the most ridiculous drink on the menu, watch as the barista experiences a split second of vertigo, and then shimmer into the mist with my latte, never to return. I am written into the Baristi Book of Horrors, of this I am certain. All of us who work remotely are.

The flu shot and caffeine withdrawal have me riddled with cheeky nihilism. I order a honey cardamon latte with an extra shot and housemade walnut milk. And whisper, “Adieu.”

12:35 p.m.
Scheduling social, listening to Billie Holiday. “Lovable, huggable Emily Brown. Miss Brown to you — 14 Luxury Harry Potter Gifts for Adults: http://bit.ly/2QsIPH0” … Let’s try that again.

12:45 p.m.
Vacating my seat mere moments after finishing my latte. Feeling smug and superior about my coffee shop etiquette. My pace slows as I approach center stage, a hair’s breadth of sound mind away from shouting, “HA!” at everyone in the cafe.

It’s beginning to feel like fall in Portland. Plaid is a sedative; I leave without making a scene.

1:01 p.m.
Scrolling through #RiotGrams for reposts. Suddenly I’m less $50 and expecting an order of pretty books. I peer into my soul, looking for regret, and find nothing.

3:00 p.m.
Steak break because lattes don’t count as food even when they are 90% sugar. Anyway, it’s time I stopped hitting refresh on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina trailer I foisted upon the readers of Today in Books.

4:17 p.m.
Checking my task list: “Write high fantasy books post.” I feel attacked.

4:47 p.m.
Stepping away from my laptop to prepare for my first hip hop dance class. Looking forward to showing off the aughts-era moves I learned from Hip Hop Dance Party Urban Style, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Wish me luck,
Sharifah

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