I post a Pic Of The Day everyday. You can see the one I've chosen for today at the right of this post. Yesterday I saw a quote a writer friend puts up in his cubicle. I've used several of his quotes in the past for my Pic of The Day picture. But something about yesterday's quote didn't sit right with me.
And I figured out why.
It's because I disagree with what was written.
But I can also understand why John Osborne, the man who expressed his feeling toward edits. They're tough, perhaps the toughest part of the process. That's why I feel good edits can make a story SO much better. A good writer should have many tools to help him/her with the craft. Things such as writer groups, alpha and beta readers, editors, agents, all can help an idea become a finished product. The attitude expressed in the quote comes when they want that perfect product, but whatever they've created must go through a refiner's fire. Fire burns and burns hurt. The quote also validates the importance of editors.
I'm a writer with a few writing credits to my name. I have had published stories where an editor was part of the creative process and I've self-published where I wore both hats. And I know if I had been fortunate enough to have the editors I worked with on my stories for my self-published work, it would have been much better. For me, they've been an invaluable asset that's helped me get those stories to the public, stories that are good, stories to which I'm proud my name is attached. Stories that I can stand in front of people and say, "You should buy this book." Thanks to all the editors I've worked with, especially those at Xchyler Publishing.
Writing is an incredibly personal endeavor. It's your soul that you put into those words and when you do that, you're completely exposed. So, when anything comes along to rip those words apart, be they self-imposed edits or from an editor, it's tough.
I think I've figured out what Mr. Osborne got wrong in his quote. He shouldn't have used a lamp post in his comparison. He should have used a tree, because a tree can benefit from a dog's contribution. It comes with a price, but it can make the tree stronger.