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Red Marks are the Best

I’ve been working on writing a devotional for creatives for quite a while. I finished a couple months ago and sent it off for editing. It finally came back – covered in digital red ink.

So many edits. So many notes. So many places where I missed the mark. Fortunately, my editor was wise enough to be gentle and assure me that I wasn’t a horrible writer.

No, edits don’t make you a horrible writer. Your inability to accept edits makes you a horrible writer. I’m willing to accept edits. Loads of them.

In fact, I was excited to get a bunch of edits back. That meant my editor was being honest with me. She really wanted to help me get the very best product possible. She believed in the work enough to tear it apart.

I’m always a bit worried when people tell me my work is perfect. I know that’s not true. I’d say even on my best day I only get it right 95% of the time. And editing helps me get to the 100%. Some days that means 5% editing…other days it’s more like 50%. And at times I need to start over.

But that’s ok. Without honest feedback I’ll never get better. My work will never get better. And I want to make my mark on the world with the best product possible. I never want to shy away from being edited and critiqued and counseled.

So many of us shy away from feedback. We feel threatened thinking our work isn’t 100% perfect as soon as we put it on paper. I assure you, your work isn’t perfect. It never will be.

But it can be made better. It just needs some editing. Some feedback. Some critique.

Don’t be afraid of that. Embrace it with everything inside you.

[Photo Credit]

2 Comments

  • Barry Armstrong Says

    After 2 years of being praised for my writing at a two year college, I took an intensive writing course at a 4 year college and felt like I had a stake driven through my heart when, at my first meeting with the professor, he said,”we’ll…iit wasn’t horrible…” Nobody had ever said that to me before, but he was right, and it was just the beginning! I remember looking at examples of my work at the start of the course and comparing it to some at the end. I had grown by leaps and bounds as a writer thanks to someone holding me to a higher standard. You will, too. Congrats on taking on such a daunting task. I feel inspired to finish the book I started. Thanks.

  • Barry Armstrong Says

    After 2 years of being praised for my writing at a two year college, I took an intensive writing course at a 4 year college and felt like I had a stake driven through my heart when, at my first meeting with the professor, he said,”we’ll…iit wasn’t horrible…” Nobody had ever said that to me before, but he was right, and it was just the beginning! I remember looking at examples of my work at the start of the course and comparing it to some at the end. I had grown by leaps and bounds as a writer thanks to someone holding me to a higher standard. You will, too. Congrats on taking on such a daunting task. I feel inspired to finish the book I started. Thanks.

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