The Myth of the Magical Editor
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash
I loved fairy tales. I knew what I’d do if offered three wishes. I was sure I’d be nice to the king’s youngest son – even in disguise.
I wanted to be a writer because you could tell stories all day. Live in a house by the beach. Never work in an office.
Best of all – you’d have an editor who understood exactly what you wanted to say and fixed everything you wrote and made it better.
But. Becoming a writer means not only learning how to accept criticism, it also means killing your darlings, and letting go of the fantasies.
No matter how many novels or stories I wrote or tried to write, no matter how many jobs I had working as a writer, the magical editor never appeared. I’d always be faced with marked-up copy that left me with days of revising.
So when someone sends me a manuscript that’s a bit of a mess and I know they’re hoping I’ll send it back all polished and perfect. I try to break it to them gently.
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