“It’s really important to love a book when you acquire it. If you don’t have that kind of emotional commitment to something, you wind up second-guessing yourself…”
A writer is very close to their work. What may appear to be an error to the editor, may go unnoticed in the eyes of the author. That is the difference between a writer and an editor. A little tough love here and there from the editor is only to bring out the best in the writer.
If the author is the mother giving birth, I am the midwife making sure that the baby comes into this world safe and sound. Each work of creation is different, and comes into this world through a different passage. Having worked with lots of writers and writing styles, I know that it’s a different experience each time. No two births are ever the same.
To authors, a book is a precious baby that they’ve nurtured and brought into this world. But giving birth is almost never a solitary process. The editor is the midwife – the one that stands by the author and pushes the writer as they labour through the long hours before the baby is finally born.
Every time I feel this way, I shove my write-up aside, as far away from me as possible, even if the guilt chews me from inside. No matter how hard I try, I don’t seem to come up with anything at all. I went through this feeling about a couple of thousand times before I understood something very important about writing and writer’s block.