You say “poh-tay-toe”, I say “paw-tah-tow”. Something like that.
I love editing as much as writing and, admittedly, I get so enthused that sometimes I edit more than I probably should—by adding words/phrases or rewriting something that [I believe] warrants reworking. Some writers are thankful, others get their knickers in a knot (and sound like they’d love nothing better than smack you with them).
I always feel dismayed when editors receive criticism, but I can also appreciate where the resentment stems from: it’s a blow to that fragile thing known as ego. In my early writing days, as I’ve shared in past, I wasn’t terribly good. And the hackles would raise when constructive criticism—“advice”—came my way. I laugh [hysterically] now, knowing how right those individuals were! But it took years to come to that realization . . . which was only achieved through studying, learning, and applying . . . and adopting thicker skin.
Writing is something that requires work; for the majority of people, it doesn’t come “naturally”. It’s a craft that must be fashioned. And it’s sad when writers won’t make an effort to improve themselves—truly, no one is perfect. That’s a fact.
In this era of e-book publishing, anyone can be a writer. And as I’ve previously stated, this is a good thing, because the world of traditional publishing was [is] very limited. Many good writers could only hope/dream/pray they’d be in the right place at the right time: i.e. having a publisher actually pick up their manuscript as opposed to it landing on the slush pile (ooh, those form rejection letters, how crushing they could be).
The point of this post? To suggest that e-book writers take feedback—“advice”—from editors with a grain of salt. This profession, like writing, is a labor of love. We truly do what we do to assist [and support] writers in becoming better narrators/storytellers. Authors, aspiring or otherwise, should lay aside the egos a little and understand that while they have great tales to tell, they may not yet have achieved the talented authoring—flair—of Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, or Helen DeWitt.
Inept = incompetent.
But incompetence can evolve into competence.
It’s all a question of acceptance, attitude, and application . . . and adopting that aforementioned thicker skin. We’re in this together; let’s make it work together.