As a freelancer, the clients I’ve worked for have given me fairly free rein to write as I like, after agreeing on a topic, that is. Even so, there have been times when I’ve asked the client their thoughts on a line or word I was thinking of using. I’ve always been glad I did, but it has usually been up to me to use my discretion and they’ve posted my work as I submitted it.
I’ve always felt that showed that the client trusted me, but it was also a great feeling knowing I gave them what they were looking for.
Recently I’ve written a freelance piece for a local magazine. That is a different animal altogether. I used to write for a newspaper but that was long ago. In the newspaper/magazine biz, depending on the deadline, you may submit your work and the editor will tell you they made a few changes, but you might not know what those changes are until the piece has been published.
And that’s fine. That’s why they are called editors. They are the gatekeepers. They have the final say.
There is an old writer’s adage, “Kill your darlings.” Editing yourself is a tough exercise. Ego comes into play. Delusions of grandeur even. Sometimes that bit you think is absolutely brilliant is just fluff and you may have to kill it.
Having been truly edited, the value of editing myself becomes all the more pronounced. Because though I will continue to freelance for magazines, I also love to write for business owners who hire me so they don’t have to make those decisions.
It’s kind of an important role they’ve entrusted me with. I respect that greatly.