Writing Loss

My first novel was published a while ago, but due to a distressingly long recovery from what seemed to be a minor injury, some serious life changes, and my own undeniable mix of procrastination and laziness, I have done little work on the second novel.

The editing of my first novel was…contentious. Some of the rules imposed on me I considered senseless at best and arbitrary dogma at worst. The editor herself was most often kind and sweet, but unflinching in these pointless rules. Then she became condescending and somewhat insulting. I called her out on it gently, and we worked it out, and things ended on a pretty positive note. However, the changes enforced and the demeanor of superiority set me off that publisher. I told myself to suck it up — nobody said that writing was going to be an easy business or that I was going to like my editor(s).

Curious, I decided to ask a writer acquaintance of mine — someone who is apparently something like the industry standard for the genre I was writing in (unbeknownst to me) — and she said that these arbitrary rules and the treatment I received were not only not normal, they would never happen at her publisher, and that if those limits were imposed on her it would drive her insane.

My publisher changed ownership and the previous editor left, too. I published a short story with them and the editor was great. Didn’t really have much to say as far as corrections. I published another short story with them and hit editor jackpot. I LOVED this editor. She was funny, amazing, hilarious, warm, and she was good. She pointed out things I didn’t know I was doing, she helped with content, she said there were very few changes to make (always a compliment from an editor), she confirmed the stupidity of the experience I had before, and she agreed to edit my future projects. She revived in me the desire to write, to be with that publisher, and to stick with her.

My publisher is going through some serious issues at the moment, and there are plenty of signs that they may, very sadly, close down. The latest, and a very dire blow to me, was discovered this weekend. I e-mailed my editor a question — we e-mail in a non-business, friendly manner from time to time, so this wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary. She responded within an hour or so, answering my question while being helpful and friendly as always.

Then she told me that she has resigned from my publisher. The editor I get along with so well, who has done so much for me, who has taught me so much, has left. She says she welcomes any questions from me, she’s doing freelance editing, and she’s offering a discounted rate on editing for those affected by the probable collapse of the publisher. I’m lucky to have someone like her around, but I’m still very upset.

I’ll continue on — I already have made progress, in fact — but I am doing so with downed spirits. She will be missed almost more than the publisher itself. There’s a Pollyanna-grade optimist in me somewhere, and I definitely hope for the best, but I still plan for the worst. This was one of those worst-case scenarios.

I’ll move on, but it will be with a heavy heart.

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~ by Darren Endymion on November 28, 2016.

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