Sweet Dreams New York

As all writers and editors know, in the publishing world, New York sets the trends and standards for the rest of us.

With this in mind, I was perusing The New Yorker this week, when I came across this article in The Talk of the Town “Lights Out

The newest trend in publishing—remember you heard it here first (well, OK second) is—naps.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Peter Workman, the founder and chief executive of Workman Publishing, is known among his employees as a stickler for traditional business hours: his editors are expected to be at their desks every morning at nine, an hour at which many in the industry are still spilling crumbs upon Michiko Kakutani. In January though, the house published “Take a Nap! Change Your Life,” a how-to and why-you-should, by Sara Mednick, which argues that napping increases productivity  improves health, and encourages weight loss, among other benefits. After it came out, Workman was persuaded that his own minions ought to be encouraged to fall asleep on the job

“If it does work, why not us?” Workman said the other day in his office, whose bookshelves are filled with copies of “The Silver Palate Cookbook” and “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” and other books that his team had produced while not napping. Tie loosened and wire-rimmed glasses askew, Workman looked as if he had just woken up from a nap himself, but a can of Diet Coke and a jar of chocolate candies on his conference table testified to a dependence upon more traditional means of stimulation. (He has brought a pillow to the office but has yet to use it.)

First of all, can I just say that, wow New York, you have to be at work by 9 a.m.?! I can see why you must be tired (which I type from my office while sipping my third cup of coffee at 7:15 a.m.).

Having been in the position of needing to reach New York publishing types in the summer, I’m aware that New Yorkers in publishing work “summer hours” which pretty much means, no work so you can frolic in the Hampton and whatnot.

I’m just going to put an offer out on the table, so between your naps and your summer hours, the engine of publishing keeps moving through this long, hot summer: Farm your editing work out to Midwestern editors, who are not known to nap or observe summer hours. Just think about it: Smart, corn-fed Midwesterners who can fulfill all of your writing and editing needs. You can think of us as your own between-the-coasts Kelly Services. And you won’t even be accused of outsourcing—we’re American, too!

And by the way, we’d be happy to take on The New Yorker for the summer, also. Would you mind if we called it, just for the summer, The Cincinnatian? We’re even willing to throw in a couple of pillows to seal the deal. Think about it. We’re here for you.

Keep Writing,
p.s. You may, perhaps, enjoy Europe for your summer break. I understand they like to nap there, too.

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4 thoughts on “Sweet Dreams New York

  1. :Donna

    Ah, I’m glad to hear that, Maria! I guess I wasn’t picking up on it. Also, I meant to say that people in this area DON’T have time for napping! lol I forgot the word "don’t". And I keep getting emails/newsletters from different writing groups, etc. on the Book Expo. It seems it was a hit in most people’s opinions 🙂

  2. Maria Schneider

    Just a little satire Donna– no harm intended. I know New York editors work long and hard hours. And the truth is, I appreciate a good nap myself.

  3. :Donna


    I have to say I found your comments a bit over-the-top judgmental. Unless we authors have been lied to in a very big way, any agent or editor I’ve met (NY-based or the vaccinity) or read has claimed to work ungodly hours. Now, if that means that they arrive at 9 and then burn the midnight oil, that may be a matter of choice. Perhaps you burn the dawn oil instead.

    How they (and of course, "they" can only be a general statement, which I don’t generally like to use) spend their summers, I don’t know, and it wasn’t mentioned in this particular excerpt of the article.

    Also–over the years I’ve heard there’s a lot to be said for "siestas" which, (and I know this for a fact, being a Northern New Jerseyan myself), the vast majority of people living in and around the NYC area has time to do. This is an exceptionally fast-paced area (not that I think that’s a good thing). I have no idea how fast-paced or laid back Cincinnati may be in comparison.


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