Every year, I go to Orycon, Portland's local sf convention, and on their writing track, they always include a panel called "Are Editors Human?" And every year, it's terrific. It's a time for the attending editors to talk about the work they do and what their lives are like. I always learn something--even though I spent a year as Assistant Editor at Fantasy Magazine and have plenty of friends in the business. Different editors have very different approaches, and there are many different kinds of editors, as well.
There are people out there who complain about editors or have stories about bad experiences. I'm not one of them. So far, I've worked with really professional people with a lot of skills. Some of the editors I've worked with have inspired me to do better work than I ever expected to create, editors with great vision and the ability to bring out the best in their writers (Scott Andrews, John Joseph Adams, and James L. Sutter, I am looking at you!)
A great way to learn more about writing is to pay attention to who edited the books and stories that you enjoyed reading. Then read more work from those editors. Read a book from Pyr Books and loved it? Maybe you should check out Lou Anders' short story anthologies. Most companies list their editorial staff's information right on their webpage--you can read their blogs and find out about their sideprojects.
Because that's the best thing about editors--they're always working on something cool. Editors exist to bring out the best writing in their writers and to cheer for the best projects for their companies. They're full of verve and energy and excitement.
In fact, when I go to that panel at Orycon and hear editors talk about their work, I'm always pretty sure the answer to the question "Are Editors Human?" is actually a resounding no.