This week I am pretty disturbed at the amount of angst Deb received when she took a break from writing leads. There was a distinctive tone I heard in many of the comments that was very familiar…it was like so many of the writers I’ve had the opportunity to work with throughout the years.
I heard a level of entitlement. I’m sure you’ll find it in every line of work, a host of people who like to stay in their comfort zone, particularly when that comfort zone has a bit of hand holding.
As an editor, I love to work with writers who have flexiblility and who strike a good balance between independence and knowing when to seek counsel. These writers are confident in their knowledge and skills enough to know when things are under control and when it’s important to contact an editor with questions. These writers are more likely to be the ones who accept edits and input with professionalism and make editing a breeze.
Then there are writers who really like their comfort zones. They never want to vary from their writing style or story angle no matter if it’s better for the audience or publication. They view critiques and edits as a personal attacks and they require a fair amount of hand-holding. An editor’s job is tough enough without having to baby-sit a writer.
Here’s the problem with loving your comforts too much – it prevents you from stretching and growing as a writer. So while there are some things as a writer you’d prefer to live without – a good cup of coffee, or in my case cocoa and a sharp pencil, there are some things you can’t live without and thrive in this profession: flexibility, independence and a “plan-b.”