Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ego And Ownership

There's a fine balance writers need to take in regards to our work.  On one hand, we need to be willing to put aside our ego and accept criticism, both in content and in writing.  We can all make errors, and we don't always have the best ideas.  When someone offers a criticism of our work, we need to have an open mind about what they say...especially if we paid them for that criticism.  At that point, it's their job to find our mistakes.

Yes, it's hard.  We never really want to admit we screwed up.  We'll moan and squeal like branded calves, but the right criticism should make our work better and easier to read.  We'll be able to have our story flow more smoothly, and people will be able to read it without making faces that look like they just swallowed a spoonful of mustard.  Remember, too many errors and folks will just put us down.  Then how will people know if our work is any good?

But there's also the flip side of this - taking control of your own work.  While you should be open to criticism, don't forget that it's your work.  Perhaps what the editor marked down as wrong was exactly the way you intended it to be written, because it gives the desired effect.  And regarding content, perhaps others saw the point of your words more than the editor you paid.

It's hard to get it all right.  Putting ego aside requires maturity, but remembering it's your work requires you to not always be a doormat, and, sadly, we have far too many doormats in our field.  What do you hope to get out of paying an editor, and do changes make your story better?  Those are the key questions to ask yourself.

Does your ego hamper your reach?  Or does your mousiness make the story no longer your own?  Only you can answer these questions...but answer them you must.

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