I once worked as an editor in internal communications for a large company. My writing colleagues – both in corporate and in the business units – were used to articles going through multiple rounds of edits. At one point, a talented writing friend reported that an article of hers had gone through more than 10 revisions.
I admired this writer’s demeanor when listening to my feedback on any of her articles. She would offer an edit that provided the desired effect and she turned it around quickly, without complaint. If she disagreed, she would tell me why, giving me the back story. She was always professional and easy to work with.
She’s who I emulate when I receive feedback on my work. Ideally, I want to hand in content that requires as few edits as possible. But when a client asks for revisions, I listen to what they say, and I adjust the content. That’s my job.
I recently had a client ask me to add another 100 words to an article after I had edited it down to the bone so that it complied with her original word count. She also asked me to adjust the lead. Done and done. Another client wanted shorter sentences, so I make sure I do that from now on.
Nobody wants to work with a whiner or an “artiste.” A long time ago, when I worked for a community newspaper, my editor told me, “Writers write for themselves. Reporters write for their audience.”
Maybe I can add to that: “Freelance writers write for their clients.” When we receive feedback, we’re professional about it. Always.