Thanks to my webmaster duties for Lea Schizas and her publishing venture MuseItUp Publishing, I have the privilege of listening in on the conversations among editors and artists for the press. They’re an interesting group, and a lot of fun, but this time one of them, Karen McGrath, offered something so profound that I asked for permission to share it with the rest of you.
Whether your days of being edited professionally are still ahead of you, or you’re in the thick of it right now, I think all of us can benefit from considering the following stages a writer goes through:
The Stages of Editing
1. Denial – “That editor doesn’t know what she’s talking about. My [manuscript] was fine ’til she got hold of it.”
2. Pain & Guilt – “I can’t believe this is such a mess. If only I used that word there, I wouldn’t be stung by that stupid red pen.”
3. Anger – “What the *%$&# does that chick think she’s doing? Does she even know how to write?”
4. Depression – “Why did [the publisher] ever send me a contract? I should have been an architect.”
5. Acquiescence – “Well, maybe I should look at this and see what she has to say. I mean, she’s supposed to fix things, right? How bad can it be?”
6. Reconstruction – “Hey, this is fairly decent, in fact some of these changes make the story stand out a little better than before.”
7. Hope – “Wow, this is pretty cool. I wonder what else I can fix to make it more compelling?!”
A glimpse into Karen’s editing style:
I usually tell my authors they’ll go through the stages of editing grief and not to feel bad if they do. I also stress to them that my goal is to fix any editing issue while preserving their unique voice and if at any time they feel I haven’t done that, they should let me know so I can remedy it.
Karen McGrath lives in Boston, MA with her husband, their two teens, and Kitten. They are all writers including Kitten, who makes hieroglyphics on the kitchen counter with pilfered sugar from the sugar bowl. Karen is an author and content editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She writes novels, short stories and memoir. To learn more about Karen, check out her website: www.karenmcgrathauthor.com