After months of contemplation, you finally hired a professional editor to look over your work, only to get it back with it COVERED in red marks.
What the hell?!
That's not what you were expecting! A few comments here and there, sure, but there's no way your writing needed THAT much work, right?
Well, you could be on to something, or you could be feeling the effects of something I like to call "writer's remorse."
Writer's remorse is what happens when a writer gets a brutally honest critique of their work for the first time. It's often characterized by regret, disdain, anger, and even resentment.
I get it, though. No one wants to see their errors highlighted in such a way, but it's what you signed up for, and really, it's for the best!
If you find yourself feeling the side effects of writer's remorse and have vowed to never hire another editor, I want you to take a step back, breathe, and check out these 3 tips, so you can begin to embrace professional edits and critiques and become a better writer.
1. Think of the end result and who it's for.
If you plan on selling or distributing your writing project, you have to understand that the final product is not for you. While the writing process may be therapeutic for you or allow you to cope with emotions that you've suppressed, you're ultimately writing for your audience. Everything you put into creating, polishing, and publishing your writing is about your audience. I'm guessing you hired someone to edit and critique your writing because you want your work to be received in the best light possible. Well, there you go! That's the goal of your editor, too. You can't take these edits too personally because you and your editor have the same thing in mind: pleasing your audience and portraying you as the professional you are.
2. Remember the role of your editor.
Your editor is on your side, whether you believe it to be true or not! They're there to help you and potentially save you from making embarrassing mistakes that can ultimately misrepresent you as a writer. Although your edited manuscript may resemble that bloody scene from The Shining, it was done with the best intentions. I mean, isn't that why you hired an editor in the first place?
3. Feel free to give feedback and start a discussion about your edits.
Editors understand how nerve-wracking the editing process can be for writers; many are writers themselves and fear the kickback they may receive when they eventually get their work edited. You will not offend your editor by respectfully posing a question about a particular edit. In fact, editors love receiving feedback and are often thrilled to engage in grammar-based discussions to help you understand their reasoning behind a certain change.
As you can see, you have absolutely nothing to fear! Although receiving critiques on something as personal as your writing can be incredibly uncomfortable, you can rest assured that your editor wants to work with you, not against you. You both have the same goal in mind: creating eloquent, polished work that your audience can enjoy.
How do you currently handle critiques/constructive criticism when it comes to your writing? Let me know in the comments! And feel free to subscribe on my blog's main page, so you never miss a writing, editing, or freelancing update.