Most writers are very protective of their Voice and there’s a fine line between “fixing” a text into technical perfection and utterly destroying the mood and intention the writer had in mind. (Believe me, I’ve been edited too and I know how awful that can feel!)
I also find that being edited can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people, especially those who have not spent their careers in fields where editing is a standard part of the information-output process. My clients often feel a little vulnerable, as well, because the school system has trained us to believe that there is a right and a wrong where writing is concerned and there are good writers and bad writers; if they had Mrs. Of Sister “X” in high school, they might be carrying around old baggage about how lousy they are at this game.
Hiring an editor can feel like opening oneself up to more judgment and it can be nerve-wracking.
How well I know!
If you are already a writer, or have a reputation of being a darned good one, you might have the added ego issue of feeling like admitting you are not as good as you want the world to believe, and that can be a little stressful as well. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I myself hired an editor to review my novel manuscript and it was money well worth spending. The really great part of all that was that I didn’t have to accept all the changes my editor suggested (and I didn’t!) but she did provide another set of eyes to correct inconsistencies in the story, eliminate hyperbole and question character motivation at times. Excellent! That’s why I paid her!!!
From my end, I like to take the potential sting out of the editing process by telling people that we are each on our own writing continuum and there is always more opportunity to improve. I started writing professionally in 1982 and have had incredible training in many writing fields. And although I am a published author, I am still looking for opportunities to improve! My clients may not have been focusing their efforts so diligently on becoming great writers but they HAVE been investing themselves in other experiences that are equally valuable. I see myself as something of an interpreter where I get to focus on translating the magnificent ideas my clients have come up with into language that their audience can instantly recognize as compelling and important.
The goal of hiring an editor should be to make the work as powerful as possible, in whatever way the author feels that should be.
If you would like to get in touch about a book project you feel I can help bring to life, I would be honored to hear from you. You can connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And in the meantime, if you’d like to know more about the first of my books that Manor House Publishing released on my behalf, please feel free to check them out!