Dying, Revision and Editing, and Striking a Balance…

Writing a book is akin to dying. We are never the same person when completing the book that we were when starting out.

The various revisions through which we take our stories and novels, transform us.

The opportunity and our ability to take in constructive comments helps us along the path to achieving what we all desire–bringing the writing in our book to exemplify and evidence our personal best.

We should never compete with other authors and writers. We do not know their path.

But this does not give us the excuse to write a novel and send our first draft out into the world for readers to take in.

The work of anyone who does this will be read by few, and those few will tell others of the poor quality of the work.

No one can and does write a story, essay, novel or short story that does not need revision and editing.

Revision and editing stand at the heart of writing that engages and entertains.

Editors play a major role and showing us where writers need to focus our efforts in revising.

Our ability to find editors whom we not only trust, but will give us the truth, and to then take in their words and follow through determines how much our skill at crafting fiction will grow and how many people will be able to read and finish our stories.

The anxiety we feel when handing over our work to an editor and then when receiving it back is normal.

Successful writers and those who glean joy from writing and continually striving to hone our craft work with and beyond the anxiety. We do not allow it to stop us.

We listen despite our heart racing.

We breathe against the growing tide of fear that threatens to shut off our lungs.

We whisper and we pray for endurance and strength to not shut down when hearing where our writing still needs work.

We give thanks when learning where our strengths lay.

And when the session is over, or we have read the last work in the essay critiquing our work, we tell ourselves that I am not my story. I am bigger than the story.

And yet the stories we write reflect our most intimate and passionate selves.

Writers must strike a balance between who we are, what we want to be and the person we are becoming with each story we write.

The words of editors bring us back down to earth. They let us know that we can never completely master the art of writing.

They also give us hope in pointing out where our skills are working, abilities that when embraced fuel our abilities to refine that which we have yet to practice.

What has been your experience with editors?

How much do and have you learned from them?

What have been your most difficult experiences?

Where have you found editors helpful?

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on April 5, 2010.

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