Friday, June 17, 2011
The Editor vs. the Two-Year-Old
Just the other day I got a nice introductory email from my newly assigned editor at White Rose. I read it, send a note back. Everything seemed peachy keen.
Then at three in the morning (no lie), I woke up in a panic. I have an editor?!?
And then the anxious thoughts started, as I worried through a series of idiotic requests my sleep-hazed mind decided an editor might want. Yes, my inner two-year-old, the one who wants her own way and cannot work with others, had come for a visit.
So we had a talk:
Me: What are you afraid of?
2YO: Are you dense? Isn't it obvious? An editor is going to READ what we wrote!! (Yes, my inner two-year-old does help write. She can be fun at times and I help her with punctuation. She's overly fond of capital letters and exclamation points.) And she might even suggest we CHANGE things!!!!!
Me: Why would that be so bad?
2YO: Because then it wouldn't be the SAME!!!
Me: Do you think what we wrote is perfect the way it is?
2YO: Well, no, but...
Me: Don't you think having a professional look at it, give it a thorough read, and recommend improvements might be a rewarding and enriching process? One that makes the manuscript so much better? We've been to critique groups. I don't understand the problem.
2YO: Yeah, but in those crit groups we can always go home and make fun of their suggestions later.
Me: (blushing) We don't always do that. Not even all that often.
2YO: Yeah, but there were a few lunkhead suggestions. Like the one who told us we used 'said' too often, and suggested we be more creative. But an editor is different. You have a contract now. What if the editor makes lunkhead suggestions?
Me: Then she probably wouldn't be in the position she's in. I'm actually looking forward to seeing an editor's input in some places I think are weak. This could help advance my writing. And I do want my first sale to be the strongest it can be.
2YO: Can I go out and play now?
Me: Sure, I've got work to do.
Below are two online resources I'm looking at to learn how best to work with an editor:
Now if I can only keep my inner two-year-old occupied during the process. Maybe a nice summer camp...