The relationship of an editor and a writer

How can I ever trust someone to edit my work?
I mean I know I should, and that there are probably hundreds of mistakes within my writing, but for some reason it takes a lot of strength for me to trust that what someone suggests is the right thing to do. I read today somewhere that “editors are just writers that never make it.” And it discouraged me, because I love to edit. This is hypocritical, I know, because I love to edit other people’s papers, but never to have anyone else edit mine. I think that editors have to be successful writers however, because if they are going to try and fix someone else’s writing they have to know what they are doing!
Editing other people’s papers is enjoyable for me, but also difficult, because I want to make sure that I don’t remove their voice from their writing. When my voice is removed from my writing then I feel like it isn’t even mine anymore!
Editors and writers must have a honest and beneficial relationship. The writer must do his best and accept his editors suggestions, and the editor must try their best to edit with the pieces best interest in mind.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    This is such a difficult and relatable thing. I am the worst when it comes to asking others to edit my work and the worst at receiving feedback. I mean, I do it because I have to, but then I disagree with every suggestion they make… at first. I’m not kidding, on more than one occasion I have been seen yelling at the screen, having arguments with the comments thread on my work. (Turns out, they’re not the best conversationalists, in case you were wondering.) Anyway… then… when I come back to it later, something has changed. I mean, the comments and suggestions and feedback is all the same, but my perspective has changed and I can see where they were coming from – not in all instances, but many. I guess that would be a suggestion I would have for you… process it and feel the hurt and frustration, and then come back to it. Just some time can make a world of difference in terms of attitude. That being said, it really is important to have a trusting relationship with these folks in your life. While peer response is one thing, as folks get further into academia, there are reasons people get to choose who their advisers and chairs will be. (I actually always went the route of choosing people I trusted and got along with, people who saw the world similar to me, rather than choosing mentors who studied what I wanted to study.) Sorry for the diatribe… just some thoughts that I had apparently. 😉


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