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Writing to Editing: From Dull to Dazzle

Post Series: In Your "WRITE" Mind

You’re writing, writing, writing, scurrying along putting your thoughts and feelings on paper.  You put, what you believe to be, an adequate amount of time and energy into your work.  You inject appropriate facts, data, and lines of reasoning that you are sure your readers will appreciate.  You are confident that your writing is as Picasso-perfect as they come.  Yes, your writing is a work of art!  Your next step?  You pass your writing along to a friend or colleague with a writing/editing background and/or you hire a proofreader.  You’re waiting and waiting and waiting, but you just know, that the edits will be minimal because this is your best piece of writing to-date.  And, then it happens ….

You get your work back with what you can only describe as literary death and carnage.  The amount of red markings rivaled only by gushing crimson from a nose bleed. You are utterly floored by what is in front of you.  Does this sound familiar?  To many of us, it probably does.  Well, this visceral reaction to criticism of what we’ve created is normal.  Why?  Because we get attached to and have deep feelings for our creation, in this case, our own writing; so much so that some of us take each red-marked edit as knife stabs to our body (figuratively, of course).

But, once you get passed the mixed bag of emotions, you give your edited piece of work another look and Ta-da!  You realize that the person/professional actually enhanced your writing and took its essence and substance from 0 to 60.  Why does this happen?  Well, our attachment to the subject of our writing, oftentimes, does not translate to the intensity and brilliance on the page that we think it is.  But, an editor, who has no personal connection to the written work, can look at it objectively, give it the critical eye it needs, and raise your writing to the next level.  Keeping your audience in mind, an editor takes your story and message and polishes, refines, and enhances it.  They perform an ever so delicate balancing act of staying true to the writer’s core message with capturing the attention of the audience and keeping both parties happy.

So, remember the writing, remember the editing, have fun, and go from dull to dazzle …. with an editor.  



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