For the first entry on the new blog, I want to address one of the most common obstacles that people face when it comes to working with an editor: the fear factor. I’m here to let you in on the big secret: EVERYONE is nervous to have someone else read their writing, but it’s okay to let yourself be nervous. Letting someone read your raw thoughts, ideas, or emotions is an incredibly intimate experience, and as an editor, I hold the highest respect for every individual that I work with who allows me to become a part of their writing process. I actually want to encourage you to be nervous, because that represents something incredibly positive—the fact that you are passionate enough about what you’ve written that you want others to love it! So please, tell me if you’re nervous and I will be there to cheer you on and hold your hand through this exciting process.
With that being said, you have no reason to be scared! Fear is a negative emotion and it has no place in the writing process. Trust me, I have heard all the nightmares and self-deprecating statements out there! Here are some of the most common:
“I’m just not good at writing. I’m more of a math/science person.”
“I don’t know how to properly cite.”
“What if it sucks?”
“You probably think I’m stupid.”
“English isn’t my first language, so I can’t write well.”
Here is the thing: none of these statements will make you a better writer; however, the fact that you care about your writing enough to be willing to put yourself down over it, shows that you are capable of becoming a stronger writer, so long as you redirect your thoughts away from the negative nightmare scenarios. An unorganized essay will not cause a serial killer to come after you. A sloppy footnote will not result in an asteroid hitting Earth; and a few misspelled words will not make your loved ones abandon you. So there is nothing to fear.
Ah, but what if you fear The Editor? So many of my clients and students have expressed concern that I will judge them based on any mistakes I might find in their writing. There seems to be this common misconception that editors are narcissists that believe they are better at writing than anyone else, and they only choose to edit other people’s work in order to boost their own egos. I cannot express to you how extremely FALSE this is. One of my mentors once told me that I was a good editor because I have no ego, and I try to live up to that praise. I believe that even great writers can benefit from an editor, because most people are incapable of reviewing their own work without being biased. Not to mention, being a great writer doesn’t mean that you never make mistakes–it just means that you are capable of putting something people are interested in reading down on paper. I promise you that I am not a narcissist, I am far from perfect, and I will NEVER judge you based on anything you write. While I may have an eye for details which makes me a good editor, I also have plenty of flaws; so please never ask me to sing–It’s incredibly uncomfortable for everyone involved. When we work together, I promise that I will view your writing with the utmost respect and will never try to put you down with my feedback. As I said, the relationship between an editor and a writer is very intimate; so while I endeavor to be provide quality editing services, I also promise my clients friendship. I am here for you and would love nothing more than to see you achieve your goals.
Are you still nervous? Do you need to overcome your fears? Want to hear more about my many flaws? Let me know in the comments. As always, if you have questions or suggestions for upcoming blogs, please do not hesitate to let me know.