I know I’m on commandment number nine but I wanna take a brief moment to talk about something else that’s on my mind. Yesterday I was in Phoenix at an all day funeral. It was at my husband’s grandma’s funeral. She was not only a devote Catholic but also the matriarch of the family. It was a beautiful ceremony at her church by a French Canadian priest and then we all headed up to the burial site in a funeral procession of about thirteen cars at least. When we arrived at the burial site a full dressed Irishman with bagpipes was playing a beautiful medley and continued while the pallbearers brought the casket down to her gravestone. Then the same priest gave a beautiful final prayer. No one stayed to watch the grave go down into the dirt, but I witnessed it.
Afterwards we gathered for the reception where family members from Missouri and grandma’s other sister had come and shared stories. When I could, I shared my story of how Jim (my husband, first grandson) and introduced me to grandma and her first words to me were, “Are you Catholic dear?” got a few chuckles with that and they said, “Sounds like grandma or Rosanne.” my response was to grandma, “No, I’m Eastern Orthodox” and she said, “Close enough.”
So on to number nine of the Commandments in writing:
Trust – GIVING YOUR TRUST!
9. Trust your editors
First, I’m going to broadly define editors as not only professional editors at publishing houses but also writing teachers and writing workshop members who read and offer editorial suggestions. Most editors aren’t frustrated writers—some are accomplished writers publishing more than you. In general, they have your best interests at heart. That doesn’t mean you won’t have disagreements with their suggestions. You most certainly will. You may even be right sometimes. But you will miss out on some very helpful suggestions if you refuse to listen.
The goal of most editors is to help you best realize the story you want to write. Because they come at it with fresh perspectives, they may be able to see flaws that you can’t because you’re too close to the work.
My typical first reaction to editorial suggestions is this: “What an idiot! You understand nothing of what I’m trying to say.” An hour later I think, “Maybe that’s not a completely stupid idea.” After I incorporate the idea I think, “I’m a genius to have thought of this change.” Point is, I have learned to carefully consider each suggestion. Sometimes I reject them, but many times those suggestions have significantly improved my work.