An editor responded to my submission favorably a few months back with one of my literary firsts. She asked me to revise each poem she chose for possible publication.
At first, I didn't really know how to respond. While the days of being egotistical about my work have left me, I still really didn't know what she desired. So, I took out a clean copy of each poem and made the changes to see how they would play on the page. This, I believe, is one of the real advantages of being a poet as you can spot if changes are working faster than a novelist.
Two of the three poems I had no problem with editing since the changes either strengthened the pieces in my eyes or didn't alter them much. However, one I had a problem with. She only wanted one word put in a single line but, I felt, the word changed everything about the stanza and I couldn't do it. I could have just said, "whatever gets my name out there" and had her do what she wanted but I can't do that. It may sound stupid, but I felt the change it brought was big enough to stand up for it. So, I told her how I felt.
I haven't heard from her since but I am sure she's working very hard to get the summer issue out. She seemed very reasonable and polite but I am wondering if I offended her. I hope not but I also hope she sees what I was trying to do and understands the intent would have been altered. I HAD to say something.
Have you ever been in that situation? What did you do when you absolutely COULDN'T say "yes" to a change? Would you let someone change your work around for publication?
Did I do something totally foolish, or brave? I can't tell.