This week I “finished” my fifth novel in the “Apple Pie and Strudel Girls” series. I put finished in quote marks because now it’s up to my editor, Heidi to take a whack at it. She always sees things that I don’t. As careful as I try to be, I miss things–like little words I left out, dangling modifiers, comma mishaps, and a host of other things. I’ve learned to just blame it on my brilliant brain which has a tendency to fill in the words that aren’t there. I remember when I was six and learning to read, my mother would always yell at me: “Barbara Jean, read what’s on the page!” I guess I’ve never learned to do that.
Because my brain makes up for my mistakes in my mind, I’ve learned I need other people to read my work and give feedback, so I can revise. I’ve always known that to be true, but having to admit I still require help at this stage of the game is a little humbling.
The bottom line is this: It’s good for all serious writers and students to find a writing buddy–a person you can trust who will give you honest feedback. Even though writing is a solitary activity, we need each other to make our work the best it can be at that time in space. If you want to publish what you write, get an editor. They will see what your brain doesn’t.
Thank you, Heidi.