Edits…Editing…Where does it all end?



I’m in the middle of edits for my second book. Since I don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes I can’t paint you a picture of my desk filled with those things. No coffee rings or a collection of half-filled mugs surround me. A cup of tea is more my style.

Writing is a lonely job, but when I start edits, it feels like someone else is now involved in my story. First instinct is to say, “How dare you?”  After careful consideration some suggestions make sense.

Writing is subjective. What one person loves, another may not. I recently had an author friend get a not-so-great review. She sent me an email to cry on my shoulder. She was hurt. We, authors, are sensitive souls and want everyone to love our work.

I read the review, and because it wasn’t about my book, I tried to find the positives…like in editing. There were a few comments that could be turned around into constructive criticism but I came to the conclusion the book wasn’t for this particular reader. It wasn’t her cup of tea. The author’s book has 20 other good reviews, so again, it’s subjective.

Editing has a place in all our lives. Sometimes we need someone to point out mistakes and we need to fix them. Sometimes, not. I think it’s how we go about it that makes the difference.

Funny how doing a simple thing like editing can make you start thinking about life in general. How you treat people. Is it okay to edit them? Sure, as long as we accept some editing in our own lives. It’s just how you go about it.

The next time you want to write an unkind review or critique a friend’s choices or give an opinion, you may want to edit that comment before it gets put out there in the world. It’s all in the way you say it. Look for the positive. You may make someone’s day.


10 thoughts on “Edits…Editing…Where does it all end?

  1. I belong to a writer’s group and every week we pull each other’s work apart. Lovingly. When I put it all back together, I know it’s better. But it’s done with affection and caring, so when someone gives me their honest feedback I know they do it because they care and they want to see me putting out the best I can. Thanks for reminding us again of the importance of honest caring when we give our opinion. I often feel vulnerable and exposed when my work goes public, and a honest kind word from a fellow author or friend does wonders! Great post.

  2. I can’t thank my critique partners enough for how much they help me with my writing. My editor takes my story to the next level to make it even stronger, and for that I am thankful. I’m one of those writer’s who doesn’t always see the errors and have the ‘duh’ moment when it’s pointed out. A great post.

  3. I think we all need editing but how good it is rather depends on the editor. I have had editors in the past who actually introduced grammatical errors. They don’t always know better. The main reason I decided to self-publish was in order to be able to choose my own editor.
    Rather like the idea of being able to edit people, though. I can think of some who need re-writing completely!

  4. Great post. I’m fairly confident with my editing, but I also have a pretty good idea what my weaknesses are too. I sometimes joke that I wish had an editor to look over my guest blog posts so that I don’t look so terrible. Editing – necessary chore. I usually go through my manuscript three times and call it “good.” Otherwise, I would tinker with it forever to make it look as good as possible. Recently, due to a 6-months writer’s block, my confidence was shaken; normally I do not ask anyone to look at my work before I make a submission. And I’m not a member of a writer’s group – tried that once. This time I took a fellow author up on her offer to look at a manuscript (2,500 word story that went nowhere and a 13,000 word draft that wasn’t working, so I blended the two), since we had chatted about it. She made some valuable observations and in one area even verified a suspicion I had about a format I used (thank you Charmaine!). As for editors, I’ve been fortunate to work with some good and caring editors. There was one I had a not so fuzzy feeling about and I spoke with the publisher about the situation. Anyway, I’ve babbled on enough. Great post.


Comments are closed.