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Will Edit For Money

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My last entry about the SUNSTONE motherhood issue I edited got so long that I decided to create a separate entry for this announcement:

I like editing, I'm really good at it, and you can hire me to do it for you.

Anyone who gets a degree in creative writing gets a lot of practice in giving and receiving feedback. Giving feedback is one of the main things you do when teaching creative writing. Giving feedback is about as close to editing as you can get, but it's still not quite editing.

Frankly, I like editing better. It's more collaborative and more goal-oriented. You're working with the writer to make a piece not just better, but ready to publish. You have to consider what is best for the piece as an organic unit, what the writer has the inclination and resources to do, what will work for readers, and, if you're dealing with something like a magazine issue, how the piece will work as one part of the whole. It's a fun puzzle to put together.

Whether or not the writers I worked with realized this, I quickly internalized the fact that as an editor, one of your ultimate goals is to make the writer look good. To that end, you offer suggestions and ideas that, if they get incorporated into the piece, the writer gets credit for, even though you came up with them and did the work of shaping them. If you don't like that, don't be an editor, because that's what you get paid for.

I worked with both very inexperienced and extremely accomplished writers on this project. I demanded a lot from them, and I'm sure there were points when a few of them thought, as I have thought with an editor or two I have worked with, "Heavens! Will this woman NEVER be satisfied?" But most of them have told me that they are extremely proud of the final product and gained a lot from working with me. In particular I was happy with this praise from one of the more accomplished writers I worked with: "Thanks for your editing style, so sensitive to my voice and what I am doing in this essay."

So if that account of my approach to editing appeals to you, and if you are actually willing to shell out for editing, email me or leave a comment here. My rates are in line with the going rates in Utah (in other words, cheap compared to either coast), and I am happy to work via email.


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