For some writers, the rewrites or the revisions of a story is their favorite part. (yes, those people do exist!) hehe. Best selling award Colleen Coble openly confesses to being downright giddy when she gets her revisions back from her editor on a story! For her, it's akin to Christmas morning and a tree full of presents.
Other authors are completely the opposite. They dread revisions and rewrites with a passion and struggle not to take the suggestions from their agent, editor, crit partner, or whoever, personally.
I think I fall somewhere in the middle.
Writing fresh from scratch is very freeing and fun - there's something about that blinking cursor of Chapter 1, new story possibilities! But at the same time can be a lot of pressure. For me, rewrites or revisions are a little painful, because it's critcism in a sense and represents several more hours, days or weeks of hard work. But it's also exciting because I KNOW the story will be better because of this step. That's why editors get paid to work on our novels, after all :) I don't know HOW many times my editor came back to me with "I like this, but this part really needs work" or some other suggestion that at first, had me reaching for chocolate - then at second glance (or okay, maybe fourth or fifth) I realized the truth - she was TOTALLY right and I loved the story so much better after I put in that extra work.
BTW - this is the step that readers don't get to see. They don't get to see the pile of coal and the darkness of the mine before the diamond is pulled forth, however grudgingly. They just read the glistening diamond from their fav author and expect another one to add to their charm bracelets in six months ;)
So its important to have the right attitude regarding revisions, regardless of whether they are from an editor, agent or critique partner. When it comes from your agent or editor, however, you don't usually have much of a choice in whether or not you make changes. If there is something they suggest that really strikes the wrong chord with you, speak up. But choose your battles sporadically and carefully! You do not want that rep in the industr yof being high maintenance or a diva author.
If the suggestions come from your crit partner, you're clearly not as obligated to take them. However, if the partner is someone whose opinion you value and whose writing you admire (which both factors should be present, iif you're in a crit partner relationship!) then make sure you give their suggestions a fair chance before dismissing them out of pride or "she totally doesn't get my hero!" ;) More often than not, our crit buds can spot a problem we're too close to.
Another important thing to remember is to give yourself some time between your final draft and the start of any revisions or critiques. (regardless of who they are from) If you have a deadline from your editor, then by all means, PLEASE make it :) But try to squeeze in some time away from the manuscript before you do the work, so that you will have a clearer head and are a little more distant from the story (as compared to that moment when you type "The End" and the manuscript is, in your eyes, instant NYT Bestseller material!) :)
However you feel about revisions, remember, every author goes through it at some point and likely does with every book. I don't think I know anyone who wrote a novel, turned it in, got contracted, and then published on the shelf, with nary a revision. It just doesn't happen. So you're in good company :)
Anyone have any questions on the rewrite/editing/revision process? I've had my share of them so I'm happy to help!