|A good editor can help pull the weeds from your writing.|
But they shouldn't replant your entire garden.
They are also human. They're not always right.
I've done my share of overzealous editing and had to apologize afterward. As they say, the greatest drive is not to love nor hate, but to
The trick as a writer is knowing when to listen, when to push back, and when to walk away.
Not long ago, I shared my decision to withdraw an essay from an anthology due to an excessive demand for rights. That, however, was not the only issue. Heavy-handed editing was the other.
|It's OK to push back sometimes.|
I was frankly relieved I had another reason to walk away and didn't have to fight that fight. I do not regret it.
On the other hand, I had an editor contact me wanting to publish a poem, provided I agreed to some revisions. My first reaction was, "No, no, no! Mine, mine, MINE!!" Mercifully, I didn't respond in that state. On second review, they were right. I accepted their guidance, and they published the poem.
So how do you know what to do? The first step is to do what's recommended between drafts: let it rest. Set it aside for a day. Read it with fresh eyes when you're not smarting from the implication that your writing is less than perfect.
Then ask yourself a few questions. Are you simply resisting for the sake of resisting? Many of us have encountered the writer in a group who asks for a critique, then rejects every suggestion on the spot. Don't be that person.
But are they merely pulling the weeds, or replanting the garden completely? Does it no longer sound like you? (Ideally, it should sound like a better version of you.) Are they pushing you to a conclusion that's not yours?
When an editor suggests revisions, give their suggestions thoughtful consideration. They have greater experience shaping words into a finished, publishable piece. You won't lose your identity as a writer if you accept some changes.
Editors are also human. They're not always right. It's OK to push back. It's OK to walk away. It's your decision.