Friday, March 4, 2011

Being Edited (Part 1 of 6)

After I had been writing for three years and had published more than fifty articles, the late Charlie Shedd met with the Scribe Tribe, our editing group of eight writers who met every third Tuesday evening and edited each others' material. Charlie read the first chapter of my first attempt at a book and spent twenty minutes dissecting my manuscript.

It hurt to have him slash sentences I had written and rewritten ten times. But he caught things I hadn't seen. Intellectually, I knew he critiqued my material; emotionally, I felt he critiqued me.

Although I've now published more than 100 books, I still don't like it when an editor rips apart my prose. No matter how hard I try, editors find ways to tweak sentences or delete words. Unless you self-publish, someone will always edit behind you.

Being edited is part of the getting-published process.
If you can't accept editorial changes,
don't write for publication.


  1. Cec, You're absolutely right. Writers don't need thick skin, they need rhino hide. But there are very few good writers who can't profit from the opinion of someone who knows whereof they speak. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cec, as always we have just absorbed your nuggets of wisdom. Thank you from our hearts for all that you do for us writers!
    PS, my dear Hubby is finally coming alive. :)
    Much gratitude from us both!

  3. Cec, Excellent post. Thanks for continuing to be an encouragement to writers and sharing your knowledge.

  4. I wonder why creative types are so prone to taking criticism personally? I'm encouraged to know that I'm not the only one, though. Even Jesus took persecution personally. He told Saul, "Why are you persucting ME?" when Saul had been harassing His people.

  5. I know how it hurts when someone edits your work. I myself am a writer and write for a magazine and it's painful to see my editor slashing of the sentences which i feel are the gems of my article. Anyway it's hard life out there !

  6. Thanks to all 5 of you. Your comments reinforce the problem of being edited. We work diligently to produce clarity and understanding (and sometimes, truthfully, only we understand what we meant by certain sentences).
    Try thinking of it this way: The editor wants us to look good (and she, in turn, looks good). Most of the time that works for me.


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