“You don’t want your readers to think you are comparing yourself to Albert Einstein. You don’t want them to think you are saying you are smart,” an editor said to me right before she asked me to make changes to all the sections that gave the impression that I’m saying I’m smart.
I am that editor. And you've misquoted me and taken this out of context. What I specifically said was this:
"Hi, Kimberly… I'm thinking you may want to make some adjustments. Readers may perceive that you're comparing yourself to Albert Einstein or implying you're always the smartest person in the room. :)"
You explained that if you are the only person in the room, you are the smartest person - and you edited your work to reflect this.
Then I replied:
"Yes, when you're by yourself - that just wasn't so clear (and it is now). I suggest in the other spot to say "I'm not crazy. Even geniuses talk to themselves..." (cont)"
- the continuation of the rest was deleted, and I won't post the original draft content.
If you're going to quote an editor - or, anyone for that matter - please use the exact quote. I in no way shamed you for being smart. I was trying to help you make a few adjustments so readers wouldn't misinterpret what you were saying. That is part of the editor's job - to help writers identify how readers may perceive things.
Also, there was no "demand" that changes be made or the piece would be rejected. We wound up passing on the piece because you never replied back.
It's a shame you decided to take things public when a simple conversation would have sufficed. I am always open to discuss concerns writers may have with my suggestions.