I was completely terrified to get my first edit letter from my editor at Guideposts. Terrified.
Before I wrote my book, I had spent over four years working for a major national-level website, and while I loved my job and am eternally grateful for the experience, it was not a positive experience for me editorially. Every single line of text I turned in was scrutinized. Every word I wrote was torn apart. Every day seemed to bring a new criticism. So, needless to say, before I started working with Guideposts, I was very jaded when it came to edit letters.
When I sent my book to Guideposts, I expected similar treatment– harsh criticism, relentless scrutiny. But it felt different– my job before was just a job to me. I wasn’t personally invested. But my book was personal. It was a part of me and my voice– so the idea of someone tearing it apart was superscary.
When I got my edit letter, I spent at least a half hour staring at the computer, dreading having to open it. When I finally did, my expectations were nothing like the reality. There was nothing harsh or mean or degrading in the letter. Of course, there were revisions and changes, but it was nothing like I was expecting. There were positive suggestions. Helpful comments. Constructive criticism. My editors suggestions helped make me a better writer– and made my book better.
Question for you: What’s your experience with edit letters? What did you expect? What did yours actually say?