I mean this in the sense of, "Fight the good fight," as opposed to, "Fight Nazis and Fascists" (which is, I guess, a pretty good fight).
I recently got a rewrite request for one of my submissions. That's totally awesome, and it came at a great time - when I was getting a little "ugh" about a lot of my work, thus resulting in a mood-boost. But, man... what pressure.
I've written before about my preference for a wealth of failure to the crumbs of potential. It is far easier to keep myself motivated and proactive when I am unsuccessful in the grand sense of things, even though this is potentially... insensate. The "writing-for-writing" illusion is maintained when there is no possibility that others - especially, others of consequence - are reading it. This leaves me to act quite freely, do as I please, "be wild," et cetera.
Not so when I know there are observers!
Witness, for example, my recent reversion to a flavourless blog title. Why? Because if Sheila Williams tried to visit my blog, who knows who else might? Catherynne Valente? John Joseph Adams? I mean, I just wet myself, and all I did was say their names. But honestly, how silly did I sound with a blog title like "Deathrays & Alien Babes?"
...and how silly do I look with a blog called "Ben Godby's blog?"
And yet, this vapidity - the vapidity that would lead me to suggest my blog is only about sex and killing - extends in many cases to my fiction itself, at least in a metafictional sense (the "this book is only about sex and killing and is thusly about much more than just sex and killing" sense). If that's me, then there ought not to be good reason to "portray" myself otherwise. But - alas - these things happen.
So, on to the rewrite. Let it be said that I'm not at all opposed to refashioning my work according to someone else's notes. I don't think this relates to any poverty of spirit from which I might actually suffer. Editors read a lot more than I do, and they pay for the good stuff, so why shouldn't I trust them? It's not "selling out," it's "selling." But, whether or not the rewrite results in a sale, it will be great practice for me in thinking more critically about my own work - since I'm so often the worst judge of it.