As a writer, you become hypercritical of your work. Whether that is a blog post or a novel, it almost becomes a piece of your soul that you are sharing on a piece of paper. Those simple words that you type on your keyboard in front of you, and string together creating sentences and paragraphs, let your readers into a new world, a new place, or give them a new perspective. As a writer, I worked with editors who have proofread my word and given me the go-ahead to post my piece. However, while writing a novel, the editing process was completely and utterly different. Working with an editor for a novel is a process, it is a back and forth, it is painful and heart wrenching and absolutely terrifying. I learned a lot of things from working with an editor, including things I never imagined.
I Had to Learn How Bad I Was When Working With an Editor
Throughout the beginning of my book writing publishing process (which I plan to touch on in my next blog post), I kept my book locked away like a piece of my heart. I had cried with my characters, I had hurt them, I had put them through hell and back, and for that all I felt responsible. I had kept them hidden, for some reason thinking that if no one read it, I would save myself the pain and misery that came with the world seeing my book.
My book, Insolation, was good enough to get a real life, not indie, publisher to sign me and get me started on this crazy journey to being a published author. Then came the hard part. I was assigned a fabulously terrific editor, who went through everything with a fine tooth comb. She told me when things worked and when they didn’t. Then I had to make changes. Throughout the entire thing, I realized how much better my novel could have been. I realized how much this process was teaching me to be a better writer, something my education never had.
I Became Completely Blind to the Words on the Paper
One thing I never imagined, after the years of writing and rewriting my book, is that I would become blind to everything on the page. After the fifth time through, I couldn’t even read the words anymore. Nothing made sense, and this above all else made me want to pull my hair out. After caring and investing so much time and effort into this huge project, I could barely see what I had put on paper because I had memorized the entire thing.
To Writers going through the editing process: Enjoy it! Remember what you wrote and the story you want to tell!
I Had to Let Go of My Book
The biggest thing that I learnt through working with an editor and letting them go through my book, was the fact that I needed to let go of it. It was never going to be perfect, it was never going to please everyone, there was most likely a typo in the text, or an error in the grammar. There was going to be things that someone would point out or things that people hated. But I had to let go of my fear, and I had to let go of my creative control.
I Realized Where I Could Improve
As the months have drug on since I finished editing and proofreading, I have realized that the editing process was the hardest part for me. I wanted it to be everything I dreamed, and I didn’t appreciate people telling me things to change. But now, my book is better than ever, thanks to my brilliant editor. Even more than that, my writing is better, since I don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.