So, this weekend I received a novel-length manuscript that requires editing. It’s not my work, and the act of going over it with that critical point-of-view is very eye-opening. Running down errors ranging from simple typos to what the editorial checklist calls “head-hopping” has allowed me to think about my own efforts in a different way.
Certainly, reading someone else’s work in a “not for personal enjoyment” kind of way works your creativity in that you aren’t thinking “that’s not how I would have done it,” but rather “how can I help make this better?” As a result, you start to train your mind in that vein, so that when you think about your own work, you can more easily see the errors/holes/problems you might have been loathe to admit were there before.
And they’re there. We all know they are. We just don’t like to admit it.
For all our vision, sometimes the hardest things to see are right in front of us.
Don’t be afraid; see them.
You’ll be glad you did.