Advice for freelancers on surviving the revision process
Published: August 29, 2008
|Lisa K. Friedman wrote about how to "Survive the revision process" in the October 2008 issue of The Writer. Following are some additional tips drawn from her experience and that of other freelance writers; many address the writer-editor relationship.|
Some straight-up advice for smoothing the process
• Ask questions!
• Clarify details as much as possible.
• Get everything in writing (if possible).
• Don't fall in love with your own words.
• Don't lose sight of your job. Your job is to please the editor.
• Be an expert on your topic. Research thoroughly.
• Be a professional.
• Try to learn something from each editor.
• Stay competitive.
• Make good business decisions.
• Keep the editor apprised as you go and be sure he or she (or you) hasn't veered from the original concept.
• Understand workable story concepts.
• Remember: Not everything that goes wrong is your fault.
• Meet your deadline—no excuses.
• Send a handwritten thank-you note to the editor (it's a nice touch, and it can reap jobs in the future).
Some lessons learned
• Expect at least one revision.
• Editing comments are not personal.
• Know your editor.
• Reject an assignment that doesn't sound right for you.
• Don't be stubborn (pick your battles).
• Accept criticism and you'll be a better writer.
• Know the market.
• Make wise choices.
• Be brave; open yourself up to suggestions.
• Call if you run into a glitch or a delay.
• There is no such thing as too much communication between editor and writer.
• Every editor has to mark up your story. That's what they're paid to do.
• Separate your ego from the text.
• There is a reason for the kill fee—people can change their minds or make other plans.
--Posted Aug. 29, 2008