Author: Will Sachiksy PM
To my Internal EditorRated: Fiction K - English - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,014 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Published: 06-20-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2379280
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Author's Note: This is the rough draft for the letter that I submitted to my Internal Editor. He gave me permission to post both the original and edited versions of the letter.
No one told me you'd be there when I went to write. I mean, I should have anticipated you with my tendency toward perfection, but I never thought it would be this bad. At this point, you've stopped all my creativity with your constant quibbles about pronoun reference errors, clichés, awkwardly-worded sentences, and other erroneous phrases or half-baked ideas that would embarrass you.
Let's be frank. You're my Internal Editor, and you've been working double shifts ever since I started writing. I understand the need to be clear and to follow most writing rules and guides. But you've done too much. You constantly worry about the correctness of my writing structures, you toss out most of my story ideas without even considering them, and when I finally do start to write, you chide me so often and so severely about the smallest problems that I can't continue.
I'm not saying that I don't appreciate your work. Without you, most of my writings would be incredibly sloppy and not worth reading. In these cases, you do save me from embarrassment and reinforce my narrative and poetic structures. For that, I give you my thanks and my applause for jobs well done. However, because your version of the work is the only version read by others, you seem to think that you have the most important, if not the all-important, task in writing. You forget that you have nothing to edit or revise without a creative force (a Muse, if you will) and that we will still be ridiculed even if when don't produce anything new. People will deride, or even ignore, my writings if all I do for the rest of my writing career is show the same few works over and over. Coasting on previous achievements is no way to survive.
Yet still you continue mercilessly slashing at incomplete rough drafts and shaping the prose until it is finally beyond recognition. The work grows increasingly stilted and lifeless until it becomes as insincere and meaningless as business jargon. Worse yet, you reject almost every plotline that comes your way, not really waiting, as you claim, for an idea that isn't "overdone" or "too unusual" or "way too difficult for our current writing level." The truth is that you're scared that your name will be attached to a poor piece of writing and that you will never be taken seriously as an editor again.
Listen: It's okay to be afraid of not meeting a standard. It's also okay to miss that standard every once in a while. No one can work to his best capabilities every day, and we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. What's not okay is to forget that your fears and actions are hurting others. Consider the writer. I haven't written a complete piece of fiction by myself in months, and several times during that period I've considered giving up writing altogether. This would mean that, outside of school assignments, you would have no more editing jobs. No more doing what you love, and no more doing what I love, either. That seems like a sad existence, don't you think.
Better yet, consider the Muse. I know that you and he have opposing view of writing, but consider how he feels about your overwork.. You deem much of his work unacceptable, and you change all of his work that you do accept. Sure, readers may congratulate the Muse for his efforts, but to have such a close and frequent co-worker continuously mock him disheartens him. Now, the Muse has learned to simply hide before your cold wraith. And when your send him into hiding, you deny all three of us our passionate work.
Our current situation has not helped us and will not help us advance in the writing field. Your services are still both necessary and desirable, but you are far too overzealous with your work to be conductive to the writing process. You arrive too early, make huge fusses over minor issues, and transform from being a paragon of standards to being the ultimate writing detriment. As of now, any future we have in writing will cease to exist. No one wants this, but if you continue in the same manner that you are now, I will never be able to write again.
After reading several writing guides and thinking introspectively, I have found a solution that will benefit all parties. For the first drafts of each work, the Muse and I will be the only crafter. In this way, the Muse may focus entirely on the creative process without the fear of rejection of scorn. For revision, editing, and later drafts, you and I will be the only crafters. In this way, you can focus entirely on improving the language and structure of the piece without the annoyance of interrupting ideas or unnecessary asides. In special cases, such as the addition of a new scene, writing shifts will need to alternate multiple times. Perhaps you and the Muse will be able to work more closely in the writing process at a later time, but for now, the new writing arrangement looks as though it will be able to reduce stress and increase productivity in the writing process.
I am not trying to set you as a villain. The Muse has made terrible writing mistake, as have I when I forgot to listen to you. I am trying to identify and solve a problem in our writing, much in the same manner that you do. I trust that, with all your skill at correcting errors, you will find my solution reasonable and will help us finally get back to writing.