by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn
People tend to assume if you’ve written a book that you are super creative in many other areas. The reality is while you may be creative with words, that doesn’t mean you have one ounce of skill with fabric, color, or that you have a clue how to pick out a lamp.
I am one of those people.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to develop a friendship with a wonderful designer. Her name is Lisa. I was terrified the first time Lisa came to my house. Embarrassed, even. What if she felt like my house was beyond help? Thankfully, she likes a challenge. She gets me. She shops at TJMaxx and Marshalls and is even more careful about my budget than I am.
She’s particularly talented at taking what I already have and re-arranging it in a way that makes so much more sense than the way I had it. She then brings in a few additional pieces, and asks if I like them. I can keep them or suggest we try something a little different.
Between the two of us, we wind up with a room that is still 100% mine, but it’s so much better than anything I could have come up with on my own. It’s my stuff, with a few new things I would have picked out if I’d had the sense to know how awesome they were, all pulled together into a cohesive whole.
About a week after my final edits had been approved for my first book, Covert Justice, I called Lisa for an emergency intervention. I had tried to go it alone. I had an idea, I went shopping, I started decorating. When I was done, my downstairs looked like the epicenter of a Hobby Lobby explosion. Lisa fixed it in two hours.
As she left, and I relaxed in a room that actually looked like the vision I’d had in my head, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities to the editorial process.
I was so afraid to send my manuscript to my editor. TERRIFIED. Embarrassed that she would read my words and deem them hopeless. As it turned out my editor, Elizabeth, likes a challenge and she gets me. When I read through my edits, rather than crying or gasping in pain, I found myself laughing and chuckling at the remarks she made in the sidebar.
She made suggestions for re-arranging things, slowing down the romance, and adding in more conflict. When it was all said and done, the book we wound up with is still 100% mine, but it is so much better than anything I could have come up with on my own.
No matter how many books I write, I will always need an editor. Someone to take a look with fresh eyes, make suggestions, and help me turn my vision into reality.
So let’s talk about this. Are you afraid of editors? Want to brag on yours?
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
The value of our editors—in decorating and in #writing - via @LynnHBlackburn on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
There's no reason to fear editing, it can only make us better - via @LynnHBlackburn on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)