Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person just vanishes? At first you think your messages aren’t being answered because of a busy schedule. Then you find out from someone else that the relationship is over. When it’s too late. When there’s nothing you can do about it. When the only thing you can think of is: I didn’t get to say goodbye or fuck you.
The relationship between a writer and an editor is a commitment. It’s a collaboration that can last years depending on how may books there are in a series, or however many standalones one can write. Anyway, it’s a relationship that is built on trust. The writer shows the editor a piece of herself, a precious piece. Then the editor takes this piece and lets the writer know how to make it better. In a healthy writer-editor relationship, it’s a give and take where compromises can be made. I don’t know what goes on between other writers and their editors. I only know what’s between me and mine.
I never thought an editor could just pack up and leave without notice. Without even sending you so much as an email to say “Hey, this isn’t working out.” That you have to find out from someone else that your relationship is over.
I found this out a couple of weeks ago, but I guess my mind went into shock and only now can process the enormity of what happened. I feel betrayed. Like a jilted bride. I thought we were working toward something good, that we understood what each other wanted. It sucks when you’re the only one who thinks this. And it sucks even worse when you aren’t told the feeling isn’t mutual until one day you’re blindsided by it and writing angry, tearful blog posts in the middle of the night because you don’t know what else to do because you feel like no one else will understand what you’re going through.
I hate her for doing this to me. But at the same time, I can’t hate her because I understand that she’s just doing what she thinks is best for her. Regardless of the fallout. Regardless of the feelings of the other person. I understand this because I’ve done it before, on a grander scale. Little did I know at the time that my actions will bite me in the ass the same way? So let this be a lesson to you, kiddies. Think before you act because the things you do today may be done to you in the future. I take what little comfort I can with the knowledge that what comes around goes around. She’ll get what’s rightfully hers in due time.
I’m hurt. I’m hurting still. I need to sleep but can because I have way too many thoughts in my head. I can’t shut down. I should shut down, but I can’t. I hurt too much. Feel too betrayed.
Call this a writer being emotional, temperamental, childish, whatever you want to call it. But whatever it is called, it doesn’t diminish the fact that never in a million years did I think it would happened to me. That I would feel this way. Lost. Left to the wayside to fend for myself. To start over when I thought I was at the finish line.
This has also garnered a sense of distrust. How can I ever think my new editor is doing the right thing? Is suggesting the right thing?
See? See what happens?
It’s ugly. It’s raw. It hurts.
You thought you trusted someone. Then, at the end of the day, that trust meant nothing and you have to reassess, find the strength to move on. But how? I’m so angry that I don’t know how. I can’t see straight I’m so angry. I want to pull my hair out. Better yet, I want to pull her hair out. But that would be even more childish than this post.
I just need someplace mine to share my thoughts. I need this place. Here. Now.
The relationship between a writer and an editor is built on trust. Trust that you both will do the right thing. Trust that the end result is something you’re both happy with. Proud of. Trust that a writer’s work is something precious and shouldn’t be messed with. Trust that editors have feelings too, that they are humans too with lives and families and decisions that need to be made.
My heart is heavy.
But like Charlie Chaplin said, “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.”