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When I first graduated from massage school, I visited new massage therapists all the time. Too often, I didn’t enjoy the experience much. I was too evaluative of each therapist to just lay back and receive the treatment in the spirit in which it was given. I wasn’t concentrating on the feeling of the massage, but on the mechanics. It took me some time to get past that mindset.
You see the same thing with editors sometimes, too. A bad editor jumps straight to corrections too fast without reading for story first. Typos are the last thing you correct in the story construction process. You need to look at the big blocks in the structure first to see how it holds together. Developmental editing always happens before detailed copy editing.
You shouldn’t listen too much to other writers for similar reasons. They see your work through a prism that doesn’t necessarily match ordinary reader expectations.
Writers are great people, but they usually aren’t your market. We sometimes forget that there are a lot of people in the world who have no literary ambitions. They don’t want to write a book. They just want to read a good story.
Writers are readers, but they aren’t typical readers. Writers look at your work differently. Writers are not the average reader.
Among writers, there is a higher percentage of people who will pick apart your mechanics. Any grammatical variation from what they expected (and there are variations) will provoke more irritation than may be warranted. They will be the readers who skip from irritation at your typos to outrage, indignation and threats to take away your writer’s license and livelihood. Some will want to burn down your house.
Writer friends and editors can help you develop your work, improve and self-publish. But because of the way we are wired, we might not enjoy your work as much as typical readers will.
I’m networked with a lot of great writers who help me a lot. I like them, appreciate them and thank them.
However, you’ll run into some writers who are so competitive, they do not wish you well.
Either through jealousy or the misconception that your success takes something away from them, they want you to fail.
Watch out for the hypercritical, the rabid grammarians, the perfectionists, the haters and snipers. They mistake their subjective taste for law all the time.
By the way, I wish you every success.
Filed under: publishing, Rant, Rejection, writing tips, editing, grammar, grammarians, haters, typos, write, writing