Today’s post is part of Indie Life, a blog hop hosted by the Indelibles on what it means to be an independent author. Click here to see a full list of participating blogs.
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My fellow writers, I have no idea who you are or what kind of writing you do. I have probably never read any of your work, but I still know one thing: you need an editor. A professional one.
I’m in the process of preparing the ten Tomorrow News Network stories from 2012 to be published in ebook form, and I have employed the services of a professional editor just to double check my work again. I am so glad that I did, and here are a few reasons why.
- I’ve been extremely thorough in self-editing the Tomorrow News Network series. I read each story multiple times, and I read each story aloud at least once. I’ve also had the help of multiple beta readers who’ve caught many mistakes I missed. But despite all that, my editor found dozens—perhaps hundreds of errors I never would have seen. To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed by the number of homonyms that snuck into my stories.
- Good editors, like my editor, not only draw attention to your mistakes but also to the parts that you did well. This is not merely an exercise in grammatical correctness. It’s also about identifying your strengths and building upon those strengths, making your book a better book and you a better writer.
- Being a writer is a lonely profession. You spend a great deal of time scribbling on paper or slogging away on a computer, and you can lose track of the outside world. In the past few months, I’ve felt like a man living two separate lives, each mutually exclusive to the other. Having an editor changes that. I have a teammate, a professional who is as enthusiastic as I am about what I’m trying to say and the stories I’m trying to tell. I no longer feel so alone.
At first, the idea of working with an editor frightened me. I didn’t know how brutal she might be, and I was afraid I’d come out of the experience depressed and disheartened about my writing. But if you want to be an indie writer, you have to get an editor. Now, rather than feeling depressed and disheartened, I’m more confident about my writing than I’ve been in months.
P.S.: My editor’s name is Mary Elizabeth O’Connor. If you are interested in employing her services, you can email her at rsmfan17 at aol dot com.