My latest book in progress was just returned by my editor. I was discouraged by all of the red marks and notations in the columns. I thought I’d sent some of my best work and still most pages required at least one revision.
It’s not easy to accept criticism, no matter how well-intentioned. Even when I hired someone to find and point out my mistakes, I didn’t like it.
My editor is positive and encouraging. She makes suggestions and leaves it up to me whether to implement them. Her role is to inform me of problems she sees and not to force me to make changes. My words shine brighter and have more clarity after following her suggestions. They are still my thoughts, just an improved version.
Can you think of a time you’ve been given helpful advice and took it as a personal attack? I certainly can. It hurt and I didn’t want to hear it. My first instinct was to put up a wall to block it out and protect myself.
Many times I’ve had to take a step back and seriously consider whether this feedback is valid. It is then up to me to decide if I want to discard or act upon it.
I am learning to appreciate those who act in my best interest by pointing out things I may not have been aware of. The process isn’t always pleasant but does have benefits. The revisions I choose to make because of the feedback can help me shine brighter and become an improved version of me.