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The Importance of An Editor’s Guiding Hand

Sometimes all it takes is for you to just get it done rather than assuming that the piece wouldn't sound like you.

Photo by Carol VanHook

One of the challenges working with an Editor is being able to see what they see. Because if you keep looking at it in your perspective, It could easily feel like she’s trying to make you into something you’re not.

In ‘Enough Said‘ Will (played perfectly by Ben Falcone) is driven by fairness and at one point his wife asks: “Why does everything have to be fair?”. I can empathise with Will, because when I received my first round of edits one of my first thoughts was: ‘Why!?’ and looked at the other pieces published. The familiar chorus came: ‘Why do I have to go through the editorial funnel, when what I have so far already is comparable with at least one that’s published!?’

The thing with fairness? I’ve learned that it has the potential to cloud one’s perspective. It certainly did mine. After I went through my tantrum (as a fellow adult — you’ll probably recognise this: ‘sulk with a dark cloud for maybe a day or two’), I eventually came out of it with a clearer head after a couple of weeks. After which, I turned in my next draft based on the comments I received.

I know there’s no guarantee that the ‘fairness grump’ in me will not rise up again, so I leave these notes to my future self:

1.) If you need to, grieve

I didn’t exactly need to pull a Cara Burns during that time. But if I did…I’d probably put it in an email I wouldn’t send (even if I ended up not going ahead with the project).

2.) Find another thing you can be excited about

It’s going to be challenging while those raw emotional notes are hanging around, but it is possible to tell the two year old in you that is pouting (and wanting some sort of justice): ‘How about that? Didn’t you make a note to yourself that you’ll be working on that whenever you’ve got a chance? Remember how excited you were while scribbling down the idea?’.

3.) Add a reminder when you’ll revisit

Nothing worse that having an item on your to-do list fall between the cracks. Sometimes that means that too much time has passed and you might not have a chance to revisit.

The best way I could describe my journey to my epiphany was like trying on a new jacket. It didn’t feel like me…but how would I know if I didn’t try it on?

Writer’s Note: I mentioned that Ben Falcone played his role brilliantly. It occurred to me that you may think he’s the only one worth watching in this gem of a film. Thinking back…I don’t think there was a weird fit in the casting.



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What reminders have you left yourself so you can easily weather unexpected events? I look forward to your thoughts via Twitter!

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