Like I said, writing was a dream job. Because in my “virginal” state, I was living in a freaking dream.
Here’s the reality. Writing a publishable work is only the FIRST step. It might be the most difficult step, but it’s important to remember there are PLENTY of people who write just as well or waaaaay better than you do. What does this mean? Allow me to translate – you have to be competitive. And that’s where the behind-the-scenes work (of which I had been completely ignorant) begins.
NOW, WHEN YOU SAY “EDIT”…
The first two editors I’ve worked with so far have mad skills, and I’m lucky I landed with them. These ladies at Samhain have been working their editing mojo for years and they’re good at it. Despite knowing this, however, I still FREAKED OUT when I got my very first round of edits on one of my projects. Why would the editor want to change SO MUCH? Didn’t she offer a contract on it? Doesn’t that mean she liked it the way it was? Doesn’t she wuv me?
Yeah. Foolish little virgins. Ain’t we a hoot?
Newsflash for all writing virgins everywhere – you are the amateur, and the editors are the pros. I’m not saying it’s okay to sacrifice artistic integrity every step of the way (something my editors have never asked me to do), but the fact is, they know what sells. I don’t, and I don’t think too many other writing virgins do, either. If I want to make a career out of writing (which I do), I’m happy to rework a project so that it has a better hook, a smoother feel, a more potent impact. What’s more, now that I’ve been through the process, I honestly can’t imagine anyone trying to publish without having a professional editor by their side.
So what about you? Have you ever been through the editing process? Or, if you’re thinking about self-publishing, do you think it would benefit your project to have a professional editor go over your work?