Recently one of my very dear friends plied me with questions about writing. She's looking at finally jumping into writing and is just learning all the weird stuff.
I mentioned editors and having to lose lots of words.
Most of those come from my developmental editor--one problem with being a pantser is a tendency to go wandering off track. The detour makes sense at the time, but then another bright and shiny plot direction takes over and I have a lovely dead-end. Hanging in the middle of the book. (Or more- my rough drafts often look like suburban neighborhoods with a cul-de-sac every few miles ;))
My wonderful, awesome, editor points out those , "Umm, WTF?" moments ( my words, not her's ;)). She doesn't tell me to remove things per se, just points out where I have gotten lost in some strange side alley and that it's really not helping the book. I adore her for it.
So I end up often slicing a fair amount of words after I get edits back from her. My new writer friend's point was--what if you really like those words. A VERY valid question.
However, when you're creating something, a novel, novella, short story, whatever, you have to look at the big picture. And anything that makes the big picture stronger, needs to be followed through. Obviously a big part of this process is having folks you trust and who understand your voice and story. But it's also up to the author to be willing to let go a few awesome words (or a few thousand *cough*) to make the work stronger.
I still save my larger cut sections, just to make my inner rough draft writer feel better that I can get them back if needed.
I've been writing a LONG time, and I've never needed them. But ya never know.
So yeah, losing those hard fought for words can hurt, but if they make your remaining words better-- ya need to do it!