What Artists Need to Grow: Interactions With Editors/ Publishers/Etc.

What Artists Need to Grow: Interactions With Editors/ Publishers/Etc. 

In this response, to Anne M. Hicks’ Nov. 15, 2012 Blog at annemhicks.wordpress.com, I’m going to focus specifically on the author/artist’s perspective, on the general intentions of publishers/editor’s comments, and on the need for proper positive reaction by authors/artists to assist them in their growth process of all their endeavors.


 As a writer and photographer, I know what it feels like to have my work (all of which is personal in one way or another) reviewed by friends and editors. Sometimes, especially when I was a novice writer, even mere suggestions on editing seemed like personal attacks on me as a person. However, as writers grow, so  do their desire to improve, which requires a positive attitude adjustment toward well-intentioned comments, especially those coming from editors and publishers.


Today, when I receive a comment on my poetry by a publisher, editor, or judge, I consider myself very fortunate. After all, they are not required to make any comments, especially when rejecting my work, but also about editing a piece of my writing whether accepted or not. The fact that an editor, etc., takes the time to comment on the piece says something special about both the editor and my piece, whether it be poetry, prose, or photography.


As artists, it’s also our duty and our mental health mantra to toughen our skin so that well-intentioned pin pricks to our work don’t end up feeling like chainsaw wounds. Artist should first look for the positive nature of comments that could go a long way in helping us grow in our field.


Sure, I’ve heard of an occasional slight by a publisher/editor, but the vast majority of comments are not offered up from this calloused and egocentric state of mind; rather, they’re given through a genuine desire to aid the art and, thereby, assist the artist, whether in visual or written genres.


Most editors/publishers/ and trusted workshoppers are not intending to slam an artist when they note an area that could use a healthy modification. It’s often difficult for novice writers and artists not to feel somewhat slighted at first, especially—as previously  noted—since all artistry is personal, arriving out of our core being. Nevertheless, these writers and other artists need, for this very reason, to receive comments and suggestions with an open and objective mind, rather than as one more personal attack from the world at large.  Growth and success as an artist requires a level of humbleness, a desire to improve regardless the cost, and a toughening of one’s skin so recommendations are interpreted as being just that and special rather than as personal affronts.



Beth A. Cagle
Embrace Life Creatively!
Senior Editor of moonShine review

About Beth Ann Cagle

Embracing life creatively! Poet-Author-Editor-Photographer-Educator Author of full-length poetry book First Comes Love (2015, The Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), and award-winning poetry chapbook The Fearless Tattoo (Shadow Publishng Co.) Former/Founding Editor of Kakalak, Anthology/Journey of Carolina Poetry & Art, and Senior Editor of moonShine review prose and photography journal; www.moonshinereview.com Former Adjunct Faculty at Cleveland Community College, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and Cape Fear Community College
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