To anyone who’s ever been edited…

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 12:15

I went to Church today, yes it is Sunday, and the preacher was talking about all kinds of stuff but this verse stood out to me. Because as it is my habit I relate everything either to books or writing or both. The other day I sent a draft of the opening poem for my next book to my dad. I know there are some people out there that might not think having one’s parent edit your writing is all that great or professional. First of all, you’re lame and no one cares what you think. Secondly, my dad is a wonderful writer himself and is great at editing and coming up with new ideas. Not good with spelling sadly but that’s what spell check was invented for. Any way. I sent him my poem and as I had meant for him to do he gave me feed back. I did not receive it well. Now if someone says you’re supposed to use ‘whom’ instead of ‘who’ or oh you forgot to use a comma I’m all good with that. No matter how great a writer I think I am, I know grammar isn’t my strong point (got publicly recognized in class for the longest run on sentence my english teacher had ever seen), and I’m apt to make mistakes. I know and that’s fine. But he listed several problems and several more problems and kept telling me how it didn’t flow the way I probably thought it did.

I love my dad. He’s probably the coolest dad on the face of this planet, sorry that all of you had to miss out on his awesomeness. When he speaks I hear gold and wisdom and believe him without a doubt. Namely because as past events have shown, he knows what he’s talking about and is one smart cookie. But as he was telling me how I had erred in this matter all those past events went out the window and I just got madder and madder until I had to hang up the phone before I said something that would get my fully grown self grounded from 3 states away. He may be a small man but he’s got crazy eyes and no one likes making him mad. It was after hanging up the phone and walking away that I let it all slowly sink in. I went back and reread the poem, and then I reread the poems I had written previously that it was supposed to mirror and much to my chagrin, he was once again right.

The whole point of this is that, there is no writer out there without an editor. No one is perfect and no poem, story, or book is without the occasional mistake. Anything you write you should read multiple times before thinking it’s good. And then once you think it’s good have at least one other person if not more read it a few times as well. Then when they find those things you missed be kind to those editors and listen well, or you’ll be like me having to go back feeling foolish and sad to have doubted another who was only trying to help.


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