Stop, Collaborate, and… Read
Your work is your baby. I get that. You don’t want anything to disturb your voice. You want to be hands-on in the editing process. I want those things, too.
Unlike many editors, I do not consider myself a writer. In fact, I find sitting down and writing to be tedious.
*sound of record scratching*
I know, I know… what kind of an editor am I if I don’t write?!
Here’s the thing, I may not write much, but I read. A lot.
When I read, my brain automatically skips like a record needle—skips like a record needle—skips like a record needle over any grammatical issues. If a sentence is a bit awkward, I have to reread it multiple times to make sure I understand what was meant.
For many of the years when I was teaching high school, I dreamed about a job where I got paid to read. I even researched getting a degree in library science (seriously, as a science nerd/book nerd, that degree sounds like heaven!), but the price of university at that time (and still) was way too much.
Then one day, an editing gig fell into my lap. It was the most glorious thing in the world. I got to read a great story. I got to make comments to the author about all the things that didn’t quite work. I got to make sure the commas, colons, and semicolons were used properly. I got to look up the nerdiest of things, like which words use hyphens and whether “asshattery” should have two t’s. And then, since it is not exactly in the dictionary, I got to form an argument to explain my view!
A year later, as I was working on polishing my profile and portfolio, I reviewed that editing gig. Of course, there were plenty of changes fixing typos and switching out punctuation, but what I kept seeing was mind-blowing. At least half of the chapters of this manuscript had comments that went a little something like, “There is nothing wrong with X, but what about Y?” or, “Should this have commas?” This then led to my client getting a jolt of inspiration and choosing another option, which then made the whole area ten times better.
So, no, I’m not a writer. I’m a great editor, a chameleon who can channel your voice—and maybe even a muse.
Want to collaborate with your own muse? Drop me a comment below or fill out my contact form.