One of the many things I learned in the book publishing process is the value of editors. They are worth every penny. My editor walked me through every page, helped me clarify nebulous content, and made me look good, well, at least, improved my author image.
My new project, Rural Women's Stories, puts me in a position of editing. Whether I interview women and write the story or they post what they write on my site, I edit before I publish. I am certainly not an editor, but the more I write, the better I get at ‘catching’ the obvious.
I now have a ton of respect for editors, and I understand their importance in quality writing. Northern Colorado Writers has several members who offer editing services: April Moore, Kathryn Mattingly, Teresa Funke, Jennifer Top, Rich Keller, and Nancy Reed. Remember them when you want your work to shine.
I belong to a writer’s group organized by NCW member Carol Strazer. Our purpose is critiquing. Feedback from fellow authors is editing extraordinaire. One person catches grammar, another word overuse, and a question might cause me to revisit flow or sequence. Invaluable!
Having someone, anyone, pick apart, beat up, and bleed all over a piece I’ve written isn’t exactly my idea of fun. In fact, I often need to nurture my self-esteem before handing over my article or story. But, it is how I grow as an author.
|Editing NOT necessary|
Writing improves by writing, reading, and listening. I learn by writing; the more I write, the more succinctly I express thoughts on paper. I also learn from reading, and I need to budget more alone time for me and my favorite authors. Listening to constructive ideas and blatant errors contributes equally to my development. Mistakes or bad habits are painful to hear at times, but entirely beneficial.
I also learn from critiquing the work of others and offering suggestions. It reminds me of being the recipient brownies I didn’t bake; I didn’t create them, but I sure know if they’re tasty. Creativity, the mental space I write from, is replaced with logic and knowledge. Helping someone improve their skills is an enjoyable responsibility.
My advice: Embrace both sides of editing, the receiving, and the giving.
What is YOUR editing experience?
Until the next time: Live while you live!