One of the most important things about being a writer is confidence. Confidence in yourself and confidence in your story. But over-confidence can work against you.
Today I want to talk about the importance of editing. Don’t be so over-confident that you feel you too good to be edited. Nobody is too good to be edited; I don’t care how long you’ve been writing.
If you're earnest about wanting you book to be all it can be, you will need an editor. So how does one get over the fear of being edited? I wish I had an easy answer for you. For me, it was knowing that I wanted my story to be the best it could be. Think of it as a fresh set of eyes, a second opinion. Editors catch you on grammar, punctuation, spelling, tense, continuity. They’ll help you with rough spots; show how it could read better. They are nothing to fear. In truth editors are the writer’s ally not their enemy. Remember that editors’ suggestions are just that, suggestions. They are not carved in stone. They may offer a better way to get your idea across. A good editor can do that without changing you ‘voice’. They may offer a different direction to make your story more exciting. But again, that’s just a suggestion. It’s up to you, as the writer, to make the final decision. So don’t be afraid to be edited, because you still maintain the right to accept it or not.
Now for me, I go with whatever punctuation, structure, grammar and tense corrections my editor gives me. Those are my weak points. I trust my editor to find them and make them right. I have a problem with passive writing. Again my editor has my complete trust. Once you get into characterization, dialogue, and story, then it’s up to me to accept or not any changes that affect the direction I want the story to take. When it comes to those, if I think my editor has missed the point I will talk to her. If she can convince me to change it, then I will. But if I fell short of making myself clear, I trust she will guide me to the best way of correcting that.
Do not fear your editor. Each time you are edited, you will learn. The whole process of writing and being published is an experience that will help you grow. It’s kind of amazing, really! I couldn’t be happier with the process. This is something I want to do for the rest of my days.