Please welcome Maya Rock as our guest today. In 2010, she founded Fresh Ink Book Editing to offer editorial support to agents, authors, and publishing houses. She graduated from Princeton University in 2002 and has worked in book publishing ever since. Prior to Fresh Ink Editing, she started at Anderson Grinberg Literary Management, then moved to Writers House, where she agented for four years.
As an editor, I’ve helped many writers through the revisions process and have noticed that it can be challenging for them. There’s not as much glory in revising as in just having a completed draft or book, and they’re often unprepared for how much time it will take. I thought sharing some of my insights on the process might help.
The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Revisions
All writers experience fears when handing over a manuscript to an editor, from potential distress upon receiving edits, to the nerves of getting on the phone and talking it all over, and finally to the feeling of being overwhelmed while implementing changes. Being able to anticipate your emotions during a revision will make this process go more smoothly.
Step One, Fear: Handing Over The Manuscript
You may be scared to hand over your manuscript to an editor. Not only have you invested a lot of time on the project, you may feel, on some level, that you’re showing your soul. You’re vulnerable. How can this fear be lessened?
- Get In the Right Mindset. You dread edits on your manuscript when, instead of seeing them as helpful, you see them as a judgment on the manuscript’s value—or worse on, your Reframe, and think of edits are a tool, meant to help. This change of mindset can help turn fear into excitement—it’ll be fun to see your manuscript improve after receiving great edits.
- Choose the Right Editor. Choose an editor with whom you have a good rapport. If your editor intimidates you, you’ll have difficulty talking to her. Make sure that you don’t only respect your editor because of her reputation, but that you also communicate well with her.
- Be Careful With Correspondence. Take a break to reread any message you might send to them before sending it. Fearful authors often end up writing very long emails, often with lots of asides about their worries. Of course, it’s good to be friendly, but keep the focus on your work.
- Manuscript Quality. You’ll feel more confident and relaxed if you hand in only your best possible work. Make sure you are happy with the manuscript before you give it to your editor.
- Take A Break. While your manuscript is out with an editor, seize the chance to take a break from working on it. Taking a break will clear your head and keep you calm, ensuring that you have the space you need to make great revisions.
Step Two, Distress: Receiving Edits
You knew that you are going to get feedback. You may have even asked that the editor be ruthless. Yet actually seeing the feedback is causing some uncomfortable feelings and thought. There’s just so much of it. Then, there are issues raised that never even crossed your mind. Here’s how to deal with the initial distress upon receiving edits. [Read more…]