Dealing with revision suggestions can feel like trying to crawl in complete darkness. That is because after catching one’s breath from the gut-punch (akin to someone saying your perfect baby is not so lovely after all L) and then allowing the suggestions to sink in, many a time the writer still can’t see why these suggestions were made.
It's easy, even fun, to make changes when the suggestion make sense. These "Ah-Hah (!)" suggestions make the write's heart grow limbs and do an exhilarating Hopak, which is a Cossacks' leg-kicking dance, in joyous appreciation. It's just that these types of suggestions are the rare ones.
Most editorial suggestions fall into the other camp. Be it by a Beta reader, an Intern, an agent or an editor, the writer feels like telling them they just didn’t get it and the fault lies in their flawed reading, not her writing.
But feelings should have nothing to do with it. Feelings and intuition guided the first draft all the way. Revision is about returning reason to the equation and reminding oneself the feedback came from someone who, just for making the suggestions, is a helpful soul.
So now the writer moves to phase two. To implement the suggested changes, or not to? That is the question.
My answer is that I must try. Not because the reader was right. Not because the reader was wrong. But because it is good for me to try.
This is where it feels like I'm crawling in the dark. How to make changes that don’t resonate? Where, who, and with what?
Take a deeeeep breath. Trust in the muse. She is akin to a miner’s light.
She’ll get you there, and your humanity will be better for it.