How to Survive Being Edited as a New Author

Do you find it hard to accept criticism? I sometimes find it hard to take the criticism of others, but I think it has something to do with the way they do it. If it is done in a loving, caring manner it is much easier to swallow. If it is done in a critical, dog eat dog manner it is much harder to get over the hurt so you can move on to accept the suggestions.

Believe me since I have been online I have had to deal with this from time to time. One of the hardest for me to swallow was a person who totally did not want me sharing Bible Verses. It hurt my feelings, but it was more about the fact they rejected God. It made me realize how He must have felt walking around on this earth and being constantly rejected by people. Maybe this is something He wanted me to feel so I would not feel so rejected myself. Or maybe it was so I wouldn’t feel like I was exempt from rejection.

One of the processes we as author’s have to go through that is hard to get used to is being edited. It is something we all need, but how do we survive it. As a new author this was one of the hardest things for me, because I didn’t know what to expect. When I wrote my first book: The Book of Ruth: A Story of Love and Redemption and got it back from the editor I was devastated.

I felt like someone had torn my baby apart. It took me a day or two to get past the surprise to be able to do the updates. My editor gave me good advice. She said for me to leave it alone for a few days and give myself time to get used to the idea, then go back and make the corrections. It was good advice and it helped. What she did was good, I just didn’t have any idea what to expect.

I have had people edit me who were loving, sweet and kind with their words of critique and suggestions. I have had other people who looked at my work and were critical, mean, had nothing good to say and made me feel like I had just been chewed up by a bull dog. It really hurt my feelings bad. It took me a while to get over it. It ruined my day and I still haven’t went back to look at their comments to see what improvements I can make from them. I did keep them and I hope in the near future I can move past the hurt and see what I can gain from their critiques.

So as we try to help each other and learn from each other my suggestion is that we think about the way we present our critiques to people. Can we also complement something they did right? Can we say it in a way that will not cut them to the core, but make them feel we really care about them and their work? We don’t want people to think everything they did was wrong. Or that we think we have all the answers and they are stupid.

Can we not be jealous of what God is doing in the other person’s life? Not feeling like we have to bring them down a notch or two. Can’t we celebrate one another’s  victories? How can we better support one another and celebrate what God is doing in each of our lives and still help make us all better for His glory?

I am sharing this in hopes of helping someone else who may have experienced the same thing or to help new author’s to know what to expect and not be caught off guard. I am not against editors or being edited or critiqued. I realize we all need to be edited and have our work looked at by other people to make us better and make our work better. But, let’s work together to make each other better and not bitter at the whole process. If we work together as a team, them we can improve the whole process and turn out work we all can be proud of.