I wrote last week about the light copyedits on my manuscript, but I neglected to mention that in addition to pointing out the corrections, my wonderful editor took the time to point out the passages she especially liked.I can't begin to tell you how good it felt every time I came across a page with a "Great!" or a "Nice!" or a "Terrific!" Some of the passages she marked were my own favorite scenes, and that made the compliments particularly sweet.
Over the past few days, I've thought a lot about her kind words, and they still give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. More than anything, they've invigorated my writing and made me more confident about my current project.
But they've done something else, too. They've made me think about how few times I went out of my way to tell a writer something was good (or Great! or Terrific!) when I worked as a copy editor for a magazine and newspapers, and how many times I had the opportunity to make someone's day and didn't.
All too often, this happens in critique groups, too -- when fellow writers detail the weaknesses of a work, but fail to mention the positives. I believe it's important to point out what's right with a story or an article, as well as what's wrong.
I'm lucky to have an editor who knows this better than I do and to remind me how powerful kind words can be.