We all deal with relationships. Every day, in fact. Most of us work hard at those relationships and vow that we will never to anything to cause them trouble.
As authors, we all know that we have massive egos. It’s part of believing in our books. If we don’t believe in what we’ve written, how can we expect our fans to love our work? However, there is a fine point where we need to park the ego at the door and realize another individual is just as invested in our books as we are.
Who is that person?
I’m speaking of your editor. This is a person we’re trusting to help us make our glorious prose even better. Those delightful sentences we strung together need to be parsed and examined closely, and we are not the person to do that. This means that we have not only have to hand over our beloved baby to a person who hasn’t read a single word of it, nor do they know of the hours, days, weeks, and months we labored, but who will be going through our book and be using a virtual red pen to correct what we’ve written.
Yes, you are now back in third grade and your teacher is a meanie. The shock you feel running through you when you see the first edit may give way to anger. Your thoughts are running wild, gearing up to rage. You are about to teach this uneducated cretin a lesson.
Stop right there. Don’t you dare whip off an email sure to virtually knock this person on their butt.
Step away from the computer. Go for a run. Read a book. Use your angry feelings to clean a room. Do anything that gets you away from looking at what has upset you so badly and take time to think.
This editor has just done you a huge favor. They have identified ways to make your book better. I mean, did you really think your book was perfect before your editor was assigned? Is your ego so big that you can’t admit you need help clarifying points or learning one word is better than another?
If those items are the case, get out of this business right now. You are not ready to be a published author. If it’s not the case, take a bunch of deep breaths, blow them out, and return to the edit. Look at what your editor has said and what they’ve done with fresh eyes. Admit that you may be wrong.
Now you’re ready to complete the editing round and return it to the editor. Now you are ready to be a published author.
All of us think we are perfect. We aren’t. We are merely very talented human beings who need help once we’ve penned our masterpiece.