Girl Peeling Potatoes,
Evert Pieters (1856-1932),
oil on canvas.
Now and then one may read an assertion by some poor sod who categorically and hysterically rejects the concept of any editorial oversight. Their preciousss work. Their work of transcendent genius. Written in blood.
Publish America serves a purpose, I suppose.
But it is gob-smacking, flabbergasting, and altogether astounding to read of an (allegedly) legitimate publishing house that can't be bothered to waste time and money on editing because (a) writers are too dumb to learn from the process, and (b) readers are too dumb to care.
Insert Miss Snarkism here: Your choice: WTF or clue cannon. Either will serve.
Dumb, clearly, is not a condition restricted to (a) and (b) above.
Then there are writers who claim to suffer palpitations at the prospect of an editorial pen.
I don't get that either.
And I'm not particularly machochistic.
No matter how good your basic skills in story telling (both macro and micro), no matter how acute your beta readers and critters, it's a rare piece indeed that can't be improved by the industry-trained eye of a competent editor.
Good editors will not suggest changes to a text without a clearly-expressed raison d'etre. And good writers--if they reject those suggestions--should always have solid, objective arguments to justify their stets.
I'm sure there are autocratic editors out there, just as there are recalcitrant writers, but I doubt if either class comprise the majority.
Editing is not an adversarial situation; it's a joint effort, a co-operation.
And that's the only attitude a writer should bring to the table.