First a bit of self promotion, then some commentary because who am I to let any opportunity for commentary pass us by? Some of you may already be aware, but I am the editor of a swank little joint on the web called The Flash Fiction Offensive. It's sponsored by Out Of The Gutter magazine and scratches a particular itch of mine that I've been missing since my days editing Demolition. It's less trouble and allows me to concentrate on the things I enjoy most—editing and developing stories and writers—without all of the other crap associated with running a journal. So go and check it out and if it gets your giddy in a bubble maybe you'll even want to submit.
Now, to the commentary. Prior to attempting my first novel I worked for a year in New York City as an editorial assistant with Random House. This opened my eyes in many ways and was directly responsible for me finally getting my butt in gear to finish my first novel. Since then, I think that and other experiences I've had on the other side of the submission desk have given me a leg up in the submission and networking process. There are others of course. Jason Pinter and Al Guthrie come immediately to mind as guys who have had success on both sides of the editorial desk and I'm wondering what others think of this.
Are there any writers out there who have thought about taking a gig editing or reading submissions or whatever to give them an advantage in submissions or just to try and be a more understanding writer? I know some others here at DSD come from journalism backgrounds, but I'm talking good old-fashioned traditional publishing.
And from the other direction, would you ever want an editor or an agent who was also a writer? I'm kind of torn on that myself. I think they would certainly bring a more understanding ear and eye to the table, but I'd always worry that I'd be dumped if they're writing career ever really took off. How about you?