Personal Reflection · Writing

Rely On Yourself And Be Clear On What You Want, How You Want It, And Why You Want It

Writers need to learn to rely on themselves. Honestly, you can’t always trust anyone to do anything well. This is especially true when it comes to writing, editing, and such.

Above all, never assume that your instructions will be clear and concise for others to follow. You may have this idea or some incredible vision in your head. But do others see your vision as well as you see it? Can others imagine what you want? Sometimes executing your vision does not go as plan. Perhaps your instructions fell on deaf ears. Perhaps you weren’t clear enough to begin with. Perhaps you knew what you wanted but your “little army of workers” did not.

When you want something done, it is always best to do it yourself. But in some cases, you may have to trust others to help fulfill your vision for you.

Take editing for example. Would you hand your novel to some editor and trust that all their corrections are correct? Accurate? That what they say is right for your story? Would you allow them to make the changes for you without going over what they suggested? Of course not. But to make your life and your editor’s life easier, go in with a game plan. Tell them what your story is about, the direction you want to go with the characters, etc. Most importantly, tell them what you want them to look for. That way, when you get your novel back at least you editor has made changes that pertain to areas that you personally wanted to change anyway. Your editor won’t waste time correcting slang when your book was supposed to be filled with slang to emphasize that your characters are teenagers. Your editor won’t fix sentence fragments when one of your characters speak that way for effect. This way, you can ensure that they will make meaningful edits.

You may have a clear picture in your head but ask yourself if others do too. It will save you and everyone around you a whole lot of trouble in the long run. Just don’t assume people know everything and that they know what you want. So when you can’t rely on yourself, be clear on what you want, how you want it, and why you want it.


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