What It Means to Be An Editor


Up until I joined Inklette, I was alien to the idea of editorship. I hardly understood what went behind creating literary magazines or how crucial an editorial team was to the process preceding it.

After an year of serving as the Co-Editor-in-Chief at a vibrant community of young artists, I have realised that taking on an editorial position has been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

It has opened my eyes up to not just the technical side of operating a magazine, but also to various kinds of art whose existences I was previously oblivious to.

It has changed the way that I gauge the importance of an editorial process. I no longer belittle or undermine the relevance of one, for I know what goes into it. I no longer look at it as a position of “excessive privilege or power”, for it is certainly not one.

While it is true that editors are entrusted with the responsibility of selecting pieces for publication (and in the process filtering out some), this by no means empowers them to do as they wish. It is a job, after all. Editors work within frameworks and paradigms fenced by rules which are adhered to. This disallows them from being biased or coloured by factors other than the ones assigned to the working of the magazine.

Of course there may be instances of other factors playing in, but those are very few in number. Eventually, pieces will find themselves in places where they truly belong.

An editorial process is an extensive one – and needless to say, it’s a demanding job. But being an editor has its own perks – the opportunity to learn being the most prominent of them.

Editorship allows one the space to explore a plethora of arts, each different from each other in its texture, tonality and narrative. It allows one to discover an eclectic range of pieces, and exposes one to varied perspectives, contexts and stories.

It helps understand different kinds of art, and what goes behind making them. It gives one a place to belong to.  “It made a group of strangers a family”, as my friend, the Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief, Devanshi Khetarpal rightly puts it. It made us realise the necessity of understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses, opening us up to varied ways of working on similar pieces. It facilitated an exchange of perspectives – culturally, socially, and intellectually.

It nurtured us into better artists and human beings and made us more receptive to art. It has been a huge lesson in patience, co-operation and perseverance, and what it means to work in unison.

An editorial job may be intricate, time consuming, and extensive, but it is most definitely worth it.


TRIVARNA HARIHARAN is an ardent lover of poetry, prose, film, music and everything artistic. She often wonders what the world would have been like without Gabriel Garcia Marquez, J.M. Coetzee and Ruskin Bond. Besides reading and writing, she loves to play the keyboard, and listen to tunes that sound like “neighbours from another world.”