As I experience more and more the art of being an editor, I’ve learned the most important thing I can do is listen. For those of you who are thinking that should be obvious, I’m not talking about listening to respond. In fact, it’s usually best if I don’t respond at all. It’s not my job to make another author’s novel similar to mine, but to remain true to the vision inside their head. That’s the hardest part sometimes; it can be difficult to convey the nuance behind a story when it’s so close to us. However, when I listen, really listen, without trying to pass judgement on what I hear, I find my ability to grasp the inner workings of my author easier to understand. I find this also works with people in general. Everyone desires to be understood, but if we only use our ears to help us form the next verbal response, we might miss key components that could make our relationships better.
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