IWSG 40: The words began with me…

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Monthly Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? 


Tyrean Martinson | Tara Tyler | Raimey GallantBeverly Stowe McClure

 This is hard because I sound full of myself.

The biggest and best surprise was seeing the final product. Was that really me? How did I put it all together well enough to be entertaining?

I blame the editors. If you trust them, they will bring out the best in a work.

Sure, it’s hard to rewrite sections, or remove them. To change a word choice for something that seems wrong at the time (and turns out to be exactly what the story needed). Or to expand a thought. Or to hear the truth and know there’s a load of work ahead.

The learning process can be exhausting—emotionally and mentally. A good editor is worth more than I can explain here. So I say trust them. Not with just what happens above but with sharing your vision. Team up.

It’s all right to tell them how you feel. Especially if it’s important to you. Remember to pick your battles and always with respect.

After my experience, I understand all stories are team effort. Yet I still get a little thrill when I look back at the process. It is the one time (hopefully of many) that proves someone loves and believes in your work.

It’s okay to be excited. And I was!

My genre of choice is the mystery. I’ve incorporated it in fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, and cozy so far. I’ve had fun building the story and even more fun executing it.

Care to read something of mine. Well,  try this short freebie: Dragon Eye

What about you? When does your fun begin?

98 responses to “IWSG 40: The words began with me…

  1. Even in writing, it takes a village. It’s important for writers to understand just how essential editors are to our writing. As for me, the fun begins in the space between 0 and 1. The moment between when a tiny, kernel of an idea first becomes tangible before exploding with characters, plots, settings, etc. It’s exciting and turbulent and whether it’ll continue to expand until one ‘the end,’ I can’t help but to anticipate.

  2. You are so right. The Editor’s eyes are fresh and we must be open to accepting some changes because the suggestions are always to improve the story. You deserve to be surprised at how well your book turned out. Congrats!
    JQ Rose

  3. Darn those editors! LOL

    It takes a dozen or more people to bring a book to life.

  4. You’re right, a good editor is priceless. The trick is to find her.

  5. Of course, my fun comes from the final product. 🙂 I do some proofreading and I agree that it is a team effort. Sometimes our eyes and minds play tricks on us and I think editors are a must. Keep up the good work.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

    Glad to hear you had a great experience with your editors!

  7. I have heard success takes a mastermind, so makes since writing would take a village. LOL Enjoyed reading. Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  8. Editors are a great asset indeed. There’s nothing like seeing the final product of hard work. Be proud of yourself.

  9. Enters are wonderful Anna. How did you find yours? I agree, they can make a world of difference and it tough to see the comments at times, but so worth it. 🙂

    • I set up an Excel sheet that limited my number of characters in each cell and experimented for weeks to get them right. It took time.

      I found some great advice on the internet. No Surprise there. hehehe

  10. My fun begins when I dream up a story or scene in my head. It goes away once I start putting the words on paper. After lots of edits and tons of crit partner comments, the story begins taking shape and the fun returns. Hate the in-between part though.

  11. Editors definitely make my work better! My problem with my freelance writing work is when you get a client who doesn’t know how to tell you what he/she wants–but they sure know how to tell you what you did wrong. And then you have to try to guess what they’re looking for while revising. At least editors can guide you in the right direction.

    • I hope those clients are far and few. Can’t imagine trying to live up to another’s expectations. when I can barely live up to mine. 🙂

      I do think of editors as mentors.

  12. I was excited for you just reading this. Such a great feeling seeing your story come to life. You didn’t sound full of yourself at all!

  13. You’re right about being respectful. We need to be able to talk about how we feel, what we agree with and what we don’t, but with a courteous and professional attitude. 🙂

  14. Oh yes, if I didn’t consult anyone else, my writing would be a mess of incoherent confusion. 🙂

  15. Having a professional eye look at your work is well worth it. I learnt so much when I worked with an editor last year. I actually enjoy the editing stage of the process.

  16. Yes, they are totally a team effort. And I don’t think you bragging at all when you go wow like that. It’s an amazing accomplishment. 🙂

  17. Congratulations!!! Lady! Editors are so important. They make the difference between a good book and a great book. So, brag on! Be proud. I’m happy for you. And just wait until my book comes out, you’re going to hear a loud scream.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia Everything Must Change

  18. Editing is a whole different thing than writing and a good editor is worth their weight in gold. A cliche that a good editor would eliminate! 🙂

  19. Yes indeed, it’s hard to get feedback that indicates a long road ahead, especially when I thought I had already reached my destination. But that kind of feedback is what I need to reach my publication goals.

  20. I enjoy the editing process. It seems easier than the first writing. The story is there and I just have to wrestle it into the best clothes I can fit it into! With my first experience with publishing, I can say it’s very, very nice to have another set of eyes (or many sets) looking at a story. Blinders get slipped on, unintentionally, and it gets harder and harder to see the nit-picky mistakes in your own writing.

    I do love mysteries. My guilty pleasure is cozy mysteries, especially ones set in England or in tea shops 😀 I do find my freedom, though, when I’m allowed to dip my characters into a dark world and let them battle things out. That’s when my fun begins: when the battle starts raging!


  21. I don’t think a writer should even consider publishing a book without having an editor. Not all of them are great, but if you find the one that fits your work, its worth the price and hair pulling…

  22. I so agree about editors. I’d never publish anything without having it professionally edited. Someone (above) mentioned it takes a village. That is so right. Even though I self-publish, I have many people who help make the story so much better.

  23. I never really thought about how many people it really does take to make a book great until I became a blogger and got a better look at it all. It really is amazing!

  24. I am going with my first experience with an editor now. I’m waiting to see the reaction and preparing myself for lots of work on the suggested rewrites.

  25. I so totally agree with the team effort philosophy. Where would I be without my critique partners and my editor? Lost.

  26. What an exciting surprise! Thanks for the great advice for those of us not quite at the editor stage. And giving credit where credit is due is kind of the opposite of being full of yourself. 🙂

  27. A good editor makes all the difference. The majority of mine have been joys to work with. I did have a couple that were a disappointment, but that doesn’t happen often.

  28. I like to gripe about editors when I’m in the midst of dealing with the problems they identified, but my work is always the stronger for the attention, even if I sometimes wish I hadn’t asked! @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  29. As an editor, I love this! Please trust your editor, be open and be honest. An editor is there for you and your story. As you said, you’re a team. 🙂

  30. Yes, editors, beta readers and more are all necessary for this competitive market Well said!

  31. Good advice about trusting your editors. It can be hard to hear criticism, but good advice aims to make the work better. Anything with that aim is worth its weight in gold.

  32. I love seeing my edited work come back–I think it was Dorothy Parker who said she didn’t like writing, she liked having written something. Sometimes I feel that way.

  33. It sounds like a positive experience for you! Congrats!

  34. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I wish I could have your experience with an editor. So far, I haven’t met one who connects with my work, but I’m trying out a new one soon. Hopefully, this will be the one.
    As for me, the fun begins when I’m outlining the story. I’m not yet bogged down with sentence structure, dialog, or transitions, but I get to work out all the details, from beginning to end, of the new story I’m working on.

  35. Writing is extremely complex – and then add in the twists and turns of publishing and marketing, and it truly takes a village to get a book out into the world!

  36. Hi, Anna! Making the very late rounds tonight as an IWSG member. I’m very happy to be here in your province. One of my sisters has published two books ~ one came with a fabulous editor and the other was a disaster. I think it was the difference between a great, established publishing company and another that has gone under. I think a great editor is worth his or her weight in gold. Sharp, fresh eyes have always improved my writing. Happy writing in September!

  37. I’d love to work with a truly great editor from beginning to end of the process of creating a book. It’s the one reason I envy trad-pubbed authors who’re signed to massive publishing companies. They must learn so much! I learn from all feedback, good and bad, and relish it all whether I agree with it or not. Recently someone bounced over my story wearing Docker boots– *ouch!–but his ideas improved it so much.

  38. The trick is to find a good match…the editor who is right for your specific book…and then build a solid relationship with the editor. 🙂
    I wonder what’s the formula for finding the perfect editor for a book?

  39. I self publish my books, but it’s still a team effort. I couldn’t do it without my critique buddies, editing help, a proofreader and someone to take are of the covers for me.

    • I’m glad to hear it. Some self published authors are not so enlightened and they hurt the rest of you. I’m sure that adds another challenge to an already challenging feat. 🙂

  40. I enjoy adding layers to my stories. It’s tough to keep track of all the details, but it’s worth it.
    Happy writing and learning!

  41. Hi, I’m very fascinated with mystery writers and also science fiction writers. I feel that editors should bring out the best in writers. Their job is to get the book in its best shape possible.

  42. Its an editors job to bring out the best book she can for the reader. Reader should be at the forefront and we have to think like a reader.

  43. How wonderful. *celebrate!* After putting out book one in my series, I came to the exact realisation as you, Anna, that it takes a team to do this. So many people had had input along the way. 🙂

  44. The editing stage is usually my favorite too, all that shaping and polishing to make what we created really shine.

  45. I love all the editors I’ve had working on my stories. And my beta readers. I don’t always want to hear it, and even sometimes, don’t take the suggestion, but it always leads to me improving the story.

  46. Thanks for sharing the wonderful experiences you’ve had working with others. I’ve never thought of it that way before.

  47. I’m glad you take pride in the work you’ve done and that you recognize that a big accomplishment can be a team effort.

  48. It makes such a world of difference getting other people’s views on your work. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to take their feedback on board, but it can make a huge difference when you’re open to what a fresh set of eyes can see that you can’t.

  49. Writing, in and of itself, seems so solitary, but almost all writers wouldn’t be where they are without sharing their work and receiving feedback. It’s vital to the creative process.

If you're new to writing, ask me anything and if you're experienced, feel free to share what you know. Learning something new in the craft is always welcome.

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