First I'd like to point out something that bugs me about editing. It has to do with the suggestions and how all writers act all cheerful and grateful for them. I've heard writers say 'I don't have to listen to my editor or the suggestions but I will because it will make the story better." I'm not saying you shouldn't be grateful for the opinions given or you should ignore suggestions.
The point I'm striving for is why should I be cheerful about it all the time?
Hear me out. It's agreed that seeing red ink is cringe-worthy. We all wish we could put our fingers on the keyboard or pen to paper and write gold. We can't so we need to hand out our writing and ask for red ink.I did just that and got all but one critique back (it will get back to me; she had other stories she was reading before mine.) At first glance, I want to cry. My writing can't be that bad, can it? I have step away or else I will start crying and when I go back I feel better, more optimistic about all the red.
Then I start reading and the roller coaster begins. As I come across notes and suggestions I go through a slew of emotions.
- Confusion. Why are they suggesting that?
- Acceptance. Yes, that makes complete sense I cut this part.
- Anger. WTF? WHY THE HELL DO YOU THINK THAT? DON'T YOU GET WHAT I'M GOING FOR?????
- Happiness. Squee! They liked what I wrote and gave me a smiley face!
- Annoyance. I'm so sick of seeing all these notes, I don't want to read another one as long as I live. This one usually means it's time for a break so I get up and do something else then come back refreshed and at peace with the notes and red.
All of this can happen in any order and hit me quite randomly. I go up and down and around bends. I stalk away or hunker down. I rant to my hubby and other friends who I know will understand. I release the emotions, getting them out so I can go back to editing with a level head.
I don't believe as a writer I should be expected to be happy and cheerful about edits all the time. I think I have a right to sigh in annoyance or head desk. I don't know if I'll accept every suggestion or edit but I do know I'll feel them. I'll get on the roller coaster and throw my hands in the air for all the twists and turns. The end results will be the same. My story will be stronger and better. And for it all I will give a huge THANK YOU to every person that read my words, highlighted them in red or wrote a little note about a sentence that was liked or disliked. I asked you to put me on this ride and I don't regret a second.