Patrick Greenwood - Cyclist, Writer, Espresso Lover, and Podcaster - shares why why writers should not fear the red ink from the editor!
Don't Fear the Red Ink from the Editor
Many people hold this misguided notion because of diverse justifications. In Asian countries, they customarily correlated red with mortality (as in western civilizations, black stands for demise). Because blood is a ruddy pigment, a pencil's reddish ink appears like blood, and mostly, this representation of hemoglobin hints at pain and death.
When someone passes away, it inscribes their family register and funeral signage with a reddish pen to ward off malign entities. Writing the title of someone still alive with red ink has the opposite outcome; therefore, the names of lonely individuals are only composed in red.
Editing is Hard Work
I am not a grammar person. I love to tell good stories. Editors love to edit them. Writers need to remember this critical point. Editors are only out to change your storyline if they feel the changes are required. Developing a two-way trust is essential. Editors have visibility of other writers and often see patterns to help others learn from their experiences.
Not All Editors are Equal
Like anything in the writing world, opinion is in the beholder's eye. Editors will have views of their client's work, which often will not coincide. Writers, like most people, are sensitive about their work by seeing the vast amounts of red ink; as a writer, you need to expect this. So that you know, changes will happen in your work; you better get used to this. Especially if you land a writing contract with a traditional or hybrid publisher, you will see more red ink than the red sea!
Being a Partner, not a Boss
I was unaware of the collaborative nature of writing when I submitted my first few stories to an editor or agent; writing usually occurs alone, but once it's sent out, it becomes a shared endeavor.
Certain editors can be rigorous. Different editors appreciate an author's work and won't change a phrase without your approval–they will only tender advice.
Red Ink Often Leads to Unnecessary Anxiety
The sight of red ink elicits fear in the writer–not only because of the expected negative comments they could receive but simply because of the color itself.
As a writer, I have seen more than my fair share of red on my Google docs and Microsoft word manuscripts. Does this reflect poorly on my writing skills? Should I go back to technology sales and bag the writing gig over a little red ink?
Not! Bring on the pain train powered by red ink!
About the Author
Patrick Greenwood, after military service, embarks on a 25-year career in the information technology field working in various roles in sales, engineering, support, and design. Many of his inspirations for writing came from his business travels to places like Vietnam, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Portugal. A true believer in listening to one’s passion, Patrick began writing in early 2020 based on several trips he made while cycling in various countries. In this novel, “Sunrise in Saigon”, Patrick draws upon several non-fictional events that happened in Vietnam including the war with the US, the last days of Saigon falling, and the chaos at the US embassy. Having remembered these events as a young man, Patrick grew up wanting someday to travel to Vietnam and visit these places for himself.
In 2012, Patrick did make the first trip to Vietnam to find the lost US embassy and the catholic nuns that helped with “Operation baby lift. Patrick followed his passion for cycling by completing several bike tours in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong delta regions.
Proceeds from Patrick's book and espresso coffee sales go to "helmets for Kids in Vietnam."
Patrick is a holder of a B.S and MBA in Global Marketing along with completing several post-graduate certificate programs in information security, the Internet of things, and global management from MIT. Patrick is married and resides in Carlsbad California.