Somewhere in the back of writers' minds is a secret wish: this time, the editor or the writing coach or the professor will suggest zero edits. Our work will be that good. (Please tell me you've had this thought… I know I can't be alone in this).
It's more like wishful thinking than a wish.
It's an editor's job to read work with a careful eye. The need for job security alone will compel an editor to offer insight, but in truth, you want that insight. A good editor makes a writer's work better. By the time writers finish a draft of anything, we're too close to see it with fresh eyes.
Which is why I know better than to expect a story for the Wall Street Journal to come back without blue typing mixed in among my own. Still, I have developed a pattern wherein I try to avoid the feedback:
1. Reply to the editor with a friendly, "Got it!" message, then leave the file she sent unopened.
2. Open the document a day or two(ish) later, expectant and a little bit afraid.
3. See all the blue words and sigh (at least it's not red ink).
4. Read the comments and 99.9% of the time think, Huh, good point.
5. Revisions commence.
Inevitably, I don't leave as much time for final edits as I would like, and I find myself working on them while my college students work on their final project in class (and yes, I will admit to that).
But the important lesson is this: it doesn't matter how you read feedback, it matters that you do. Your work will be better, you'll find renewed passion for the story as it becomes better, and you're honoring your writing by embracing the idea that it's not all up to you.