Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings. — Stephen King
If you ask your spouse to edit your book manuscript, this is what you are asking of your partner.
You are asking your spouse to kill your darling, the manuscript you’ve worked on for countless hours.
Are you sure you want to walk this road?
Upon learning my coach asked his wife to edit his manuscript I immediately asked:
And, you’re still married?
Then I asked my spouse to edit my manuscript.
The final product is better as a result, but unless you’re perfect complements of each other I don’t recommend this.
He developed personas of beta readers who were reading the book so it wasn’t as if he was the person delivering criticism.
Meet the personas
Noobie and Noobella McNooberton read every word I wrote. They made me and many beta readers laugh. Not just laugh, belly laugh. They are so entwined in Make Money on Medium: Build Your Audience and Grow Your Income that I didn’t realize they had entered the Prologue until my fingers hovered over the approve button for submission to Amazon.
Noobie and Noobella are in the Prologue on page 1:
An experienced writer who wants to challenge her/himself by writing alongside other top-level writers who can (you see where this is going) write to more skilled writers, not necessarily because that’s your audience (although it might be), but because you want the McNoobertons to see the potential for this to be a place to become pros.
The book is better because the McNoobertons read it. At times they laughed and told jokes in the notes on the initial Google doc. They used expletives and they talked to each other about what they understood or didn’t understand as they read the rough draft. They poked fun at the author (me) and chided the text.
The McNoobertons became a standing joke at the dinner table.
What are the McNoobertons saying today?
Have you silenced them yet?
They demanded me to be a better writer.
They were so demanding I hated them.
They threatened to shut the book right now and go to Amazon and leave a bad review if I didn’t speak plainly to them in a way they could understand. They demanded pictures.
- pictures and more pictures
- simple descriptions
- actionable tips
They squealed as loudly as a colicky baby when they thought I was talking over their heads.
There was a gap between my thinking and their needs. If I could provide solutions to their problems maybe they would leave a favorable review when they were finished reading.
That’s where Randy Shingler came in.
He built a bridge.
A bridge of understanding
Randy dedicated his time to them and me. He painstakingly went through every one of their comments and built a bridge of understanding for what they were saying. He conveyed their needs in a way I could understand and fulfill them.
We agreed, the McNoobertons bogged us down.
Their comments had to be isolated and dealt with one comment at a time. After a solid week of addressing their issues and rewriting, re-re-writing, and re-re-re-writing their comments slowly disappeared.
Eventually, they became silent.
If your spouse edits your rough draft it may strain your relationship. Enter the McNoobertons.
Make Money on Medium: Build Your Audience and Grow Your Income with Medium.com exists in this form because of their persistence and chiding. They were relentless in everything they needed and they didn’t let up until they got everything they wanted.
Noobie and Noobella aren’t the friends anyone wants. They are the friends I needed to make this book what it is. It was a rough period to deal with them, but the outcome made the experience worth the effort. I wanted to strangle them at times.
I would rather strangle them than my husband for creating them. We both needed the McNoobertons. Clay Akers needed them to say everything he was thinking to make the book better and I needed to hate them as they forced me to be better.
Thank you, McNoobertons for your help in creating this #1 New Release. You belong in this book:
Love or hate the McNoobertons, but keep your spouse.
Anyone who claims to have written a book is a liar. A book is a collaborative project.
Special thanks also goes to Caroline DePalatis, Colleen Higgs, Elle Fredine, Selma, Ayodeji Awosika, Tom Kuegler, Anthony Moore, Daniel J Botha, Joe Elvin, LaQuetta Holyfield Glaze, David Mike, renee tarantowski, Jordin Kelly, Nancy Booth, Nancy Bouwens, Cori-Leigh, George J. Ziogas, Kat Kou, Michael Shook, Jim Woods, Clay Akers, and so many others.
This book wouldn’t be possible without you. Thank you!