Editing with Caution

Have any of you ever had problems when collaborating on writing projects? How do you aproach them?

I know we all have memories of that class that always involved group projects, or that one person who made you do all the work. I was that person who just didn’t belong in groups. I firmly believed that I workd better flying solo, and I still do.

No, I’m not talking about school assignments.  

When do you draw the line for right vs. wrong on creative writing projects. I’ve taken writing classes, writing workshops, and I even went to a writing camp one summer. You think I would have gottn used to things like this. It’s not that I don’t like hearing what other people have to say. It’s just…it’s my creation. My world. If you’re a writer, you’ll understand.


Image Credit: http://www.gocollege.com

Now I’m on the other side. I have attained my dream job – editing books – and I’m still wracked with nerves every time I contact authors. I usually say something like this more than once: “I want to help you bring your book to the next level.”

And I do. I want to colalborate with authors, but it’s hard not to worry that I come across as sounding very un-humble like ( 😉 ). I try my hardest to look at works objectively, but not at the expense of becoming a teacher. I remember getting pages back covered in red ink. I don’t want to be that person. (Apparently, my computer feels the same way. It has decided that my edits will show up in blue, not red.) 

I’m not sure what answers I would get back if I asked my fellow workers if this feeling eases. I’d like to think that they’d tell me that, with practice, I’ll be able to breathe easier. Only time will tell, I suppose. 

But I don’t really expect that my thoughts will change much. It’ll take some confidence, some experience, but more than anything, it will take trust on both sides. Being asked to collaborate with someone else on their book feels almost like walking on sacred ground – one must proceed with care. I intend to do just that.

In the meantime, I thought it didn’t hurt to ask … Does anyone have any experience with collaboration?



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