I’m sending a novel pitch out to agents, and one responds with interest. This means it’s time to send a full proposal: synopsis, character sketches, sample chapters, author bio.
Years ago, I forged ahead with confidence and zeal, believing I was hot stuff. I didn’t need anyone to tell me how to revise or improve my writing. I was young and smart and perfect and error-free. Now, after a decade of rejection after rejection, I’ve realized the beauty of humble living. I’ve realized the danger of an independent spirit that–when left alone and unchecked–makes a person believe they are better and more important than they are.
This time (older, wiser, realistic), I send my chapters to neighbors who respond with the most insightful and clear revision suggestions. The Local Artist, for example, sees what I don’t see: unclear sentences, confusing details, unrealistic scenes, clichés. Her commentary rids the prose of excess and turns each sentence towards its best position.
I want her to now edit my life. Living with flair means abandoning my independent spirit so others can suggest and revise. They see what I don’t see.
It’s hard to let others see your work and your life, offering it up for revision and commentary. Have you had good experiences when you allow others to “edit” you?