There are, it seems, two kinds of editors. The first kind cares mainly about himself, about how his editing performance reflects on him and getting ahead or getting stroked or getting to lunch, as the case may be. Such editors are not editors at all and ought to go to breakfast and stay there. A real editor, however, is a rare thing, and I've been lucky in working with a few. A real editor is focused totally on the writer's work and helping the writer realize a vision of the piece or the book he's set out to do. Editing requires a certain selflessness that is hard to find.
The editor is a specialist about reading. His specialty is what is sufficiently general and common between a possible readership and what the author has to say. The tool he works with is himself. If the author cannot reach him, he can’t reach the editor’s readership either.
Being a free-lancer means that you accept the fact that the editor is an absolute despot as far as acceptance/rejection is concerned, and that from his decision, there is no appeal.
Bow down before them. They know what they are doing.
In whatever manner possible, convince them that they can't live without you. Also, be a Boy Scout: be clean, bright, timely, obedient, useful, and brave. Then write a great piece.
Listen and learn.
Don’t let any of them mess you about.
CONOR CRUISE O’BRIEN
Some editors will “get” what you write; others won’t. The key is to have patience to learn from the criticisms of the former, the strength to ignore the indifference of the latter, and the wisdom (and great luck) to know the difference between the two.