I Wish I Could Get It Right the First Time
Not only do writers write, they also rewrite and rewrite. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story, a novel, or a personal letter, I find myself changing words, or sentence structure, or writing something different from my original. Maybe you do too. During high school and college, I envied my fellow students who could hand in a test of essay questions without a lot of crossed-out and inserted words.
I’ve had only one book published, but I edited, rearranged, and rewrote it numerous times before I submitted it. I’m thankful that I now use a computer rather than a typewriter. Correction fluid was messy, and each page rewritten meant the waste of two sheet of paper because we had to make carbon copies (some of you remember). Submitting electronically saves time and paper, as well as ink.
When I first receive my manuscript, my baby, back from an editor, each editor’s mark feels like a personal attack. To get over that, I find it helpful set it aside for a while (a few hours or a day) to get over my indignation. When I’m ready to make the changes, I discover they improve the writing quality and make the story stronger.
Learn to self-edit before you submit. Correcting spacing, spelling, punctuation, and all those silly little errors that happen, makes the editor’s job easier, and you have less work to do later. Go to writer’s conferences and learn from the pros. Read books on writing—there are so many good ones available. Join or start a writers’ or critique group. Be part of a writers’ community. Many writers are introverts and like to work alone, but seeking help in your author journey will improve your writing, make your work more publishable, and give you the opportunity to help a fellow writer. It doesn’t matter whether you self-publish or go with a traditional publisher, good editing is necessary in today’s competitive market.
There’s always room for improvement. (I know, this is a cliché.)