Editorial Expertise for the Writer, Part 0

editor

You know the saying that “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Well, there’s a rare breed of us crazies who try to handle both: the doin’ and the teachin’…sometimes simultaneously. That overachieving anomaly is me.

It started at age 10 when I submitted my first short story, a fable called Weedlia’s Fate, to a county-wide competition, and lo and behold, I won first place…along with $200 that I’m sure I wasted on knickknacks and sweets. (What do you expect when you give a kid more money than she’s ever seen in her entire life?) The writing bug burrowed under my skin way back then, kept digging all through college, until I graduated and realized there wasn’t much money in the writing field without a hefty manuscript and corresponding publishing deal. Showing my age here, but back then there wasn’t indie publishing or online magazines, so I was on the fast-track to broke if I continued the dream of writerhood without something to fall back on.

The alternative was to teach. But who’s going to hire an English newbie to educate a classroom of students (and actually pay enough to cover my loan debt)? The opportunities were endless…ly missing.

But then the perfect synergy of writing and teaching pushed through my career fog. A publishing house took a chance on me and hired me for their editorial staff. Sure, it wasn’t writing my own stuff exclusively, but I found the creative liberties enjoyable, and it was gratifying to work with fellow authors, basking in their creative prose while I whittled out the errors and polished it for the world to read. Soon a new passion blossomed where I could edit to make money, and write to satisfy the creative urges. As a result, I come to the literary table with editorial offerings for other writers so that I can help them strengthen their writing style and offer advice on how to hone their craft.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m always learning new things too, but writers helping writers is what it’s all about. In the upcoming months join me here on my blog for bites of editorial expertise from an experienced in-house editor with the hopes that you’ll grow as writers and learn a little more about how to self-edit your work.

Writing, while bloodsucking and grueling and crippling, is nourishment to the soul when done right.

 

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