I ran track and field in high school. Hurdles to be precise. I had this one coach who felt I had potential in the 300 meter hurdles. For those of you who don’t know much about track, its one of the most grueling races (in my opinon). You run almost a quarter mile as fast as you can—on your toes—while leaping over hurdles.
As you come around the curve and face the last 100 meters, you wonder how in all the world you’re going to make it to the finish line. You can barely breath, your calves burn, and you’re crying. Somewhere along the haze of pain you wonder why you didn’t chose some other sport, like tennis.
I am finding an editor is much like a coach. You work months and years to perfect your writing so that an editor will finally give your manuscript a second look and offer that coveted contract. But when the edits start coming, you wonder what he or she ever saw in your story.
What your editor saw… is potential. The skills are there, the story is great and it has a possible market. But the manuscript isn’t quite there, not yet.
So a good editor gets to work. And the newly contracted author wonders why she didn’t take up knitting instead :).
I am now entering the last phase of edits. It’s been hard. Really hard. But I have also learned a lot of good stuff. My editor has pushed me, helped me, and encouraged me. He knows I can do it (even when I’ve despaired). He’s a good coach. And for that, I am thankful.
*I originally posted this article at Hoosier Ink.