Sunday, September 16, 2012

Editor Schmeditor

Ever have that awful feeling in your stomach when someone is looking at your writing and you want to run away and hide? Have you ever had that feeling where you suddenly realize that what you wrote was just a bunch of nonsense from the moment that idea popped into your head, and you secretly wish that you could pluck the paper from the reader's hand and skip away like a magical elf screaming, "You'll never get me"? 

Ignore it, please. Our magical elves need to stay hidden.

Often, when somebody's reading my writing, I try to let my mind return to the moment when I'd been proud of that piece of writing, when I'd written down something I knew was beautiful, and I knew was brilliant. I bask in the warmth of the magic I'd written, the magic that is within that essay my reader is, at that moment, reading. And I promise myself that I will not let that magic be cut out and thrown away. I promise myself that I will make the final draft look like the older and more beautiful version of draft one, not some plastic Barbie doll perfection that I will never call mine. 

When someone edits your draft or requests a change in the writing, do it. Don't feel like the editor is a monster who is taking away your baby. The magic about editing is that you choose how you change your writing. Your writing's about you, no one else. The editor is not the writer. The editor is not the one who put his life into the writing. Yes, fix the imperfections. 

But fix them your way.

1 comment:

  1. I usually hate it when people are reading my works. I especially DESPISE when someone, who I KNOW is an amazing writer reads my words on paper. I get that feeling like "What the heck? This person might as well put my paper in the shredder and tell me to start over!". Maybe I'm afraid of feedback, or maybe my fear is that this person (who is superior in writing) will think badly of me, that I write the most childish thoughts.

    Anyways, I love this image that you put in my head, the one about the elves! And your advice was amazing, hopefully I can take it to heart and not be so scared when I allow people to read my work. HOPEFULLY. It't not that I don't agree that I should welcome feedback with open arms and a tight embrace. I do. So, the editor puts the life in my writing? Come on Avon Forest, bring yours AND other's words to life!