There is a lot of advice out there about how to take, erm … advice. I like to sum this up in the following mantra: “Take it on the chin and don’t be a dick.”
This week said mantra was put to the test, as I received the first fully edited version of my MS from my agent, Kate.
Oh, the cuts. THE CUTS!!!!! The changes I have to make, the suggestions I need to bring on board. The spoilt little artist in me wanted to take my laptop, hide in a cave and live off roasted bat for the rest of my life, writing what I want and not having to take any criticism.
Thankfully, the rational, mercenary beast within soon woke up. “Stop being a dick,” the beast said, “and listen.”
So, I went for a walk, ate some cake, played with my children and, when I re-read the edits, I locked away the bratty little artist who thinks she knows it all and plugged my ears in. Well, my eyes in, as I was reading the edits, but you know what I mean. Unsurprisingly, the suggested edits were all spot on.
Cuts are hard. They always will be. But, once you can see past the black lines and comment boxes, and begin paying attention to the comments themselves, you will soon see that they are nothing to be afraid of. They are to be welcomed, embraced, because they are necessary. And the more the new ideas sink in, the better I can already see the work becoming. Different, absolutely, but better by far.