No learning is wasted and if we are striving to perfect our craft we learn everyday. I don’t believe we ever have all of the answers though over time, as we learn, we make fewer errors. As long as we realize this we are progressing.
My first agent didn’t do me any favors by telling me that “no edits were needed.” She said that my writing was great as it was. After I started representing myself and venturing out into the world of writers and publishers I began to hear from authors that editing was very necessary and the best was the type that bled red ink. Their attitude was that even the most experienced writer missed things in their own work.
Depending upon the style of editing, I have experienced the:
“Sure. Everything is perfect.” and the
“We will just brush up your punctuation.” as well as the
“Your story is good. Now let’s make it better and by the way, don’t panic. All the red you see isn’t your blood. It’s just ink.”
The first two don’t hurt the writer at all unless you consider what it isn’t doing to improve the story. The third type is exhausting, challenging, exasperating and… rewarding.
I think I prefer the third. I am learning a lot but after going through that process I so tired that I have doubts about what I am offering to the literary world. I believe that it has been harder for me because I had a
backlog of books completed in the series so as I finish one book’s edits there was another ready to start. I am pleased at the quality of the books when they are released and want the best for my readers.
Though I suspect back to back editing could drive a writer to drink.
Anyone for a glass of wine… Or maybe a Baileys?