I’ve started taking freelance editing jobs. Last night, I finished editing a short story, and the high was indescribable. I take immense pleasure in helping other writers succeed. As I read through the author’s work, I found myself invested in both the characters, and the writer herself. My notes, comments, critiques and praises would help shape this piece so the writer can get it up to publication quality. If all goes well, it will generate revenue for the author, and push her toward our shared dream of career writing.
She writes roughly the same genre I do, but I don’t see her as my competition. Writing is funny that way; it’s not like a reader is only ever going to read one book. So there is no fear of competition in my writing life. And much like the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” I think it takes a team to create a publishable manuscript.
The best part of editing is knowing that the author is happy, and that they are able to say, without hesitation, “This story is exactly what I wanted it to be.” As writers, we often neglect details. We are too nice to our characters. We miss little inconsistencies. We forget that the reader can’t see inside our brains. An editor will read though and find the missing pieces. She’ll call them out. She’ll line up all your ducks, put them in that neat little row, and then escort them home. She will dig in, dive deep, and challenge the writer to reach for her personal best.
An editor will also know when to back off. She will resist the urge to impose personal style or preference. Critiques will come through as suggestions within the style and tone of the piece.
And the best part of editing… my favorite part… is calling out all those things that worked. The deep moments. The beautiful metaphors. The clever plays on words. The connection to the characters. Because an editor should be the writer’s cheerleader, too! The writer should walk away from the experience feeling empowered and enabled to hone their work into a beautiful, engaging piece that readers will buy, read and recommend.
It’s very therapeutic, working with authors in the editing capacity. I’m looking forward to expanding this horizon of mine, and taking on more clients as my time allows. I consider it a gift and a privilege, reading and editing the works of others, even through the business arrangement of it all.
If you would like to inquire about availability, please fill out my contact form at ShananWinters.Com.