Early in our marriage, my mother-in-law dog sat for us while we went on a trip. She stayed in our house and tended to our three dogs (since gone on). When we returned, I was horrified to find that she had not only cleaned my house, but had moved furniture in order to do it thoroughly.
I don’t know about you, but I clean behind and under the furniture maybe once every other year. I, of course, saw this as a judgement on my housekeeping skills. Clearly, my mother-in-law found me to be an inferior housekeeper and felt that she had to take matters into her own hands.
I’m older now. I’ve come to realize that if someone wants to clean behind your couch . . . you let them. And you thank them nicely and check that off your list for another 18 months.
Which is how, I think, I’ll need to look at editing when my book finally makes it to market (see how I worded that in the positive?). Editing isn’t some horrible criticism of my ability. I won’t even have an editor until my writing is “good enough.” Editing is what the person who can see the dust under the bedside table does. As a writer, I’m all focused on the placement of the table, the lamp with the purple shade, the photograph of grandchildren and the stack of romances. I need an editor who can see all that AND the dust that needs to be swiped away.
My mother-in-law was and is a blessing–whether she cleans behind the sofa or not. I’m looking forward to the day an editor helps me find the dingy corners in my manuscripts.