Things change to make room for evolution. We evolve as writers, welcoming our improved, succinct style. But when it comes to our work (our baby), making the change can leave us with feelings of angst and what’s more…like we’re letting our baby down, betraying it.
The change I’m speaking of…our words. They comfort us just as much as we coddle them, laying them out on a page. Our creation breathes the life we give it the moment we
speak write the words out. This is one big reason why editing our work is so hard for new and seasoned writers. We’ve written the next literary masterpiece, the new hotness to be rivaled with the likes of the great Dickens, Hemingway and Bronte (Charlotte and Emily). And after a draft or two, how could we think about changing or deleting one word? *dramatic scoffs*
The main concern I hear from new writers is that it makes them upset and anxious when they’re asked to change their work, their perfect words, their perfect baby. These are the writers being primed for traditional publication and their editor leaves notes for manuscript changes. They fear the integrity of their work will be compromised, sullied and it may gain an unfamiliar voice. My answer—don’t be afraid to try something new and totally different than what you envisioned for a paragraph, scene or chapters. You might be surprised with the outcome.
Also, change is inevitable when it comes to writing just as evolution is. Change is going to happen at the editing stage, so getting comfortable with it now will help in the future. I always look at it this way, if I write something that I deem good before, I can do it again…even better the next time. I love reading self-help books (not just about writing) because there is always room for improvement. Get where I’m going? In short, if you fear change, you will remain complacent and neither you or your work will truly grow into what you want.
Writers, do you fear making the change when it comes to your work?