How Do You Feel When You Get Your Work Back From Your Editor?

As a writer, putting your work out there is difficult. It’s probably the number one reason writers don’t publish: they are afraid of people seeing their work. And not only seeing their work, but judging it. I’m editing Summer Secrets right now. My editor (I feel like such a professional writer when I say that!) sent me back my novellas, and over the past week, I’ve slowly been putting in the revisions she suggested and fixing the mistakes she found.

You would think that I would be ecstatic that my novellas are so much closer to publication, and don’t get me wrong, I am. But you know how I really feel when I go through all her comments and suggestions?  Shame. Embarrassment. Sadness. Fear.


The definition of shame from Merriam-Webster is:

shame definition

When I go through my editor’s comments (and let me be clear, these are all my feelings, not caused by my editor. My editor is a professional, in that she is kind, supportive, and in no way hurtful or disrespectful in regards to me and my work) I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed I made the mistakes I made. I’m a writer, aren’t I? I can’t see for myself I used the same word five times in two sentences? I can’t see for myself my two main characters have names that are similar and therefore yes, a reader may mix them up, and why couldn’t I choose different names, for crying out loud?  In the definition above, 1a mentions shortcomings.  Uh. Yeah. Nothing makes you feel like you are less than a writer than when all your mistakes are highlighted and accentuated with a comment. Definition 3a mentions regret. Yep. I have a ton of regret in that, why didn’t I find all these mistakes before I passed on my work to someone?


Embarrassment goes hand in hand with shame. I’m embarrassed I sent her my work with so much wrong with it. I’m embarrassed I didn’t try harder.  Never mind how many times I read through them, never mind that I used Grammarly, then read them again. Never mind I spent money on printing them out to edit a paper copy. I didn’t try hard enough to make them mistake-free. That’s my inner critic talking, my irrational, unrealistic inner critic. Because any writer knows how impossible it is to catch all your own mistakes.


But it’s how I feel when my eyes slide away from a highlighted paragraph and the comments telling me what’s wrong with it and possible ways to fix it.  My cheeks heat up, I have to swallow hard, and I have to force myself to just get on with it.


Sadness is probably the weakest feeling I have when I edit, but it’s still there. I get sad that my editor had to work so hard, I get sad when I feel like I could have tried harder. I get sad when I think there are better writers out there than me. Sadness waltzes with self-doubt in my heart when I see how many comments she made in my document. But you know what else I get sad about? Thinking about not writing anymore. That makes me sad, too.


fear of writing

When I searched “fear in writing” I found this lovely drawing on Lynette Noni’s blog post. I have a lot of fears about my writing, and yes, they come out when I’m editing. I fear I’m not a good writer. I fear I’ll never sell any books. I fear I’ll never be able to make a career out of my writing. After all, I can’t be a good writer if my editor finds all these things wrong with my book, right? And I want to be a good writer so I can sell books, so people can say, “Wow, that was probably one of the most emotional, heart-wrenching books I have ever read.”  We all want to be writers who touch someone in some way with our work.

But What Else . . .

But you know what else I feel when I edit? I feel joy. I feel happy when my editor says she enjoyed a setting description or how I nailed how a character feels with show and not tell.  I get excited when she tells me she loved an intimate moment between two characters, and a “More please!” in the comment section. I get excited when she congratulates me on proper grammar.

I’ll feel pride when I hold my published books in my hands, when my friends, family, and co-workers congratulate me on being tenacious, of having a dream and working toward it.

The act of writing and publishing is no doubt an emotional roller coaster ride. There are ups and downs, you’re thrown sideways and completely head over heels. But the trick, and oh my, is it a trick, is to keep fighting. To not let those negative feelings overwhelm you, to let them win. Surround yourself with friends who know what you’re going through, who will support you, and not let you give up.

If I have any advice from going through the editing process, it’s to keep your mind open and learn. Learn from what your editor is telling you. S/he’s on your side. Your editor wants to you to put out your best work, and that undoubtedly is your goal too, which is why you hired one. Don’t take their advice and suggestions as hurtful criticism, (unless it is, then you need a new editor) take their feedback and turn it into a positive learning moment. I’ve learned a lot going through my editor’s feedback.

I took a break from editing to quickly write up this post. I’d come to a paragraph where her advice was hard to swallow. I see it, I understand it, I agree with it, but there again, those feelings come up. Why didn’t I see this? Why did I send my work to her this way? What is so wrong with me I couldn’t fix this on my own?

Nothing is wrong with me. Nothing is wrong with you, either. We’re all human, and doing the best we can.

For more articles about fear in writing, look here:

#SmutChat Plotting Giveaway

Thank you for participating in #smutchat tonight! Click to enter the giveaway of @KMWeiland‘s book Outlining Your Novel and the workbook that goes with it. 

I hope to see you again soon!

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What in the Heck Have I Been Doing?

I haven’t done much writing lately, and I haven’t blogged much either. I gave myself a pass last week because I flew from MN to FL on Friday to go to my sister’s wedding, and I just got back last night (Monday) pretty late. I had a great weekend, though, and I spent a lot of time at the ocean, which was fantastic! I love going to the beach and looking for shells. There’s something calming about seeing the ocean and realizing how small we are in comparison.

But I’m back now, and this summer is going to be all about writing. This is what I’m going to be doing in the next little while:


An editing project came my way, and she was lovely enough to run it through CreateSpace for me so I can work on it at work. I don’t have computer access there, so having the paperback will be a big help. I’m looking forward to helping this author and reading her book. I hope she can get it out this summer.

Summer Secrets

My own editor is coming back with my edits for Summer Secrets. I’ll be putting them in and doing all the rest so I, too, can publish these novellas this summer.  The things I need to before release:

  • Put in all the edits
  • Write the front and back matter
  • Ask @DRWillisBooks (David Willis) to redo improve my map for the book
  • Create the cover
  • Format it for both CS and Kindle. (I will also be going wide with these, and I’ve chosen Draft2Digital to help me with that. I’ll blog about my experience with them at a later date.)
  • After editing the proofs and fixing anything that needs to be fixed, I’ll be seeing if any of the bloggers who had approached me earlier are still interested. These took a lot more time than I had anticipated simply because I added a 6th novella to the series and editing always takes me a lot longer than I anticipate.

I am hoping for an August release. I’m hoping. My plans have been shot to hell before, but I’ll do my best.

A Writer’s Conference in June!

I’ll be going to Santa Barabara in June for a writer’s conference. It’s my first big one and my first time in California! I’m so excited I could die! I have everything paid for . . . I’m just waiting to go! I’ll have to see how much Summer Secrets I can get done before then.

Don’t Run Away

This is my new working title for my Nano project from two years ago (formerly known as Running to Love). I’m letting this one breathe as I have ripped it apart a couple of times now, but I’m thinking as soon as I take the bandages off, it’s going to be all healed to perfection! Maybe not, but I do plan to release it in the fall after editing it a few more times. This is the first book in my Tower City Romance series. I’ll have the second one finished soon, and I plan two more books after that.

tower city logo


And of course, I’ll be doing #smutchat, the Twitter chat I started last month. Or was it two months ago now?  Anyway, I think that people are enjoying it, and it’s going in a direction that I didn’t think it would. I always give away a non-fiction writing resource book in conjunction with the topic of the chat, but other authors have approached me and asked if I could give away their books too. So I will be pairing these books with the non-fiction writing resource I’ll be giving away and even interviewing the author for my blog if they are willing and able. My first foray into this is during one of my weeks when we talk about settings. I have the book picked out already and Jewel E. Leonard is going to be giving away Rays of Sunshine. The writing resource book of the week for that one is @AngelaAckerman‘s book on settings.  It’s something interesting, but I won’t be doing this for every chat simply because planning the blog interview takes time, and quite honestly, I haven’t seen a lot of interest in the giveaways. I was hoping making the giveaway a writing resource would help spark interest, I mean, who doesn’t want to add to their collection to help them write better, but still, no. The last chat I hosted I had only 5 people enter the giveaway. It’s too bad.

Anyway, so that’s what I’ll be doing this summer. I do have a solid publication schedule down though, so you can watch for these:

Summer Secrets, August 2017

Don’t Run Away, (A Tower City Romance) November 2017

Chasing You, (A Tower City Romance) March 2018

After that, I hope to have books three and four of the series completed and ready to go.

I have a busy summer ahead of me, and I hope you do too! What are your summer writing plans?

The Shocking Revelation of Editing

When I write, I can tear through a manuscript pretty quickly. I have more free time as a mother of two who works full time should, and being I can write at my job if I know what I’m writing, I can put words down at a fairly acceptable pace. You would think I could crank out books, and believe me, that is one of my main goals as a writer.

But what holds me up is all the %#!*&$# editing I end up doing. I have to edit a lot because yeah, I’m still learning my craft, (I’ve complained before I feel like I’m skidding my wheels and this is a big reason why) and there’s not a lot I can do to speed that up besides doing what I’m doing. I’m learning not to head-hop, I’m learning how many points of view work in a book. I’m learning to write without all my naughty words. All of these things will help me put out a book that will reduce the amount of editing that I need before I can publish.


When I have to edit my book, I take a lot of selfies too.

One of the things that took me by surprise was that amount of time it took adding the “set it aside” time everyone recommends before reading it again. I completely understand this, and I do it myself. I’m doing it now, putting aside one manuscript while I write the next, and when I’m done writing it I’ll go back to the first. But doing this takes so much time. Who wants to take so much time? Here you have a completed manuscript, then you read it, and read it again, and even again, fixing things as you go, if you’re lucky to find them, because let’s face it, by the time you read it that many times you know what it says by heart and it could turn to Greek and you wouldn’t even notice. And now you’re supposed to set it aside for a week, a month, whatever. What are you supposed to do? All you want is to publish the darn thing.

After you think you can’t do any more with it, then come the beta readers,  and if they find stuff you missed, you’re at it again. Then maybe you send it to an editor or a proofreader, and then you have to fix those things, too.

It’s nutso and when someone would tell me they’ve been working on their book for two or three or four years, I would just be, forget that I’m not doing that. But guess what? I’m doing it because I have to.

I won’t always have to.

I’m getting better. I’m learning which POVs work best, I’m learning to not head-hop, I’m learning not to write using my naughty word list.

One day I’ll get there, and a 77,000 word novel won’t take me two years to publish because I’ll have all the lessons I’ve learned already in my head as I write a new book, and I won’t have to go back and fix all those mistakes I didn’t know I was making in the first place. My career is just beginning; one day I’ll know what I’m doing.

And that day can’t come soon enough.

More articles on letting your WIP sit so you can read it with fresh eyes:


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Interview with darling Brickley Jules!

These past few blog posts have been about editing, and today I interviewed Brickley Jules who has had some trouble experience with editors. I asked her some questions about her editing process, and what she went through to get some of her WIPS whipped into shape. Listen in!

Tell our readers what you’ve been working on.

I’ve been working on the next book in the Chrome Thunder series.

I’m curious about your editing process. How much editing do you do before you pass your work on to an editor?

I let it sit for a month or more before I even start editing. Then I read through it taking notes for character cards, setting cards, businesses cards, and a misc. catch everything else set of cards. I use those to add details and check consistency. After that’s done I read through it to catch typos and any plot holes that I may have missed. I fix all that and usually have a panicked epiphany of something I need to change or adjust through the whole novel. An example would be after doing a search I realize I used a word 300 times, and it’s not an invisible word. Finally, I read it out loud or use my laptop to read it to me.

How did you find your editor for Her Unexpected Life? What were your expectations? Had you worked with an editor before that point?

I posted on Facebook that I was looking for editor recommendations. I had no idea what to expect; this was my first experience with an editor.  And actually, I hired them to help me with Out of the Blue, which is still not published. 

How would you rate your experience with that editor?

As a person new to being edited I would give it a five out of ten. Sometimes things took longer than expected, with no deadline for return given. But as a more seasoned person, I would rate it even lower. I was really bothered by never knowing when I’d get my stuff back. Communication was lacking. I received little to no progress reports unless I asked directly, then the answer was vague. 

In your opinion, did she make your novel better? Was there anything she brought to your attention that surprised you? Did she make your writing better overall?

My first novel was crap and needed lots of editing. So, I believe it was made better. I learned I love a sentence fragment. 

Was there any feedback you didn’t agree with?

I questioned some things because it had been a few years since I wrote. (Where did double spaces go?) But for the most part, it was way better than what I started with. I questioned things in general because I was trying to study up as I went.  

Through Facebook you found a different editor for Vested in Her. What made you change editors?

I used my original editor but also used a new one. The major deciding factor was my wait. I waited and waited for drafts to return just to question what was sent back. 

Can you compare their styles? Was this editor better, worse, or the same?

The second editor flat out told me I was being lazy. My other editor never would have said that. I prefer the second one’s approach. I need the honest harsh truth. Deadpool style. 

Cost is always a big factor when hiring out jobs. Was cost a factor for you when you hired these editors?

Yes. I’m on a shoestring budget and have to get the biggest bang for my buck. (The second editor was free but a close fit for my style of writing.)

Going forward, what will you look for in an editor?

Someone not afraid to throw punches.

Can you give our readers a few tips on how to find a good one?

Don’t be like me and just pick the first recommended to you. Ask them to sample edit for you. Ask a lot of them. You’re hiring them. You’re the boss. What would a boss ask and expect of you?

Thank you, Brickley! Finding an editor is a difficult process. I hope you can find someone to mesh with and maintain a strong relationship with that person going forward. I believe we all need editors to put our best work out there.

Please follow Brickley on Facebook and Twitter @BrickleyJules.

You can find Brickley on Amazon and Goodreads. Browse Her Unexpected Life and Vested in Her, now available!