A couple of weeks ago, I had my first professional story-edit. It was AWESOME!
While I wrote the editor’s letter to the author, I didn’t get to talk with the author directly. (I’m new, so it’s right that I should prove myself first.) The main editor agreed with everything I noted, which was great.
What I didn’t expect was how much fun I had. Or how I can’t wait to see what the author does with the story. I believe in her abilities, and I’m excited to see what she does.
(I have to resist the urge to call her up and ask her if she’s writing yet!)
It’s not like critiquing a friend’s story. I always err on the side of being a cheerleader. They’re my friends. I am thrilled to be asked and grateful to read their story!
Likewise, (as you guys know) I’ve always been uncomfortable with the idea of asking a friend to edit my stuff.
I watch people mix friendship and a professional relationship with ease, but it does mystify me. Some people are great friends with all their professional relationships. Some people mix networking with friendships easily, too.
So many of you mix critiquing and friendship. That, too, mystifies me.
I have a tendency to refuse help if I’d rather be friends with someone. This isn’t fair, because I LOVE giving help to friends. (Talk about a double standard.) But I suppose I’m going to have to get past that one day and learn that social skill set, LOL.
Anyway, I have an application in hand for something really, really cool--PERFECT, really—but I’m a little torn. I’d have to pass the editing tests first and then be hired, LOL, but I would just LOVE the job. It’d be such a perfect, ideal fit for me in almost every way.
But it seems that if you’re an editor, you’re not allowed to be a writer. Conflict of interest and all that. You can write, but you just can’t be a writer blogging about writing or a writer working with another publisher.
It’d mean I’d have to give this cozy place up. On the other hand, I really love editing. I’d like to do it every day. I’d love the experience.
Although I am confident in my abilities, I can’t really see hanging out a freelance story-editing shingle without some “real” experience. (Just look at the kind of editors who give that a bad name!)
I know there are all sorts of story-editors (What do they call them? Book doctors?) online without much experience at all. I don’t know if they make a living off of it, but if I were a writer, I’m not sure I’d hire them. How could I ask someone to take such a chance on me? Then there’s a whole plethora of ex-NY editors with AMAZING credentials.
So I feel in sort of an odd place at the moment. I understand writing and editing are different skills, but they are two things I love. Why must I pretend not to do one in order to do the other? Is it just a societal continuation of the myth that people are meant to do ONE thing only as their life’s passion?
Anyway, what experience do you have working with professional editors? What would make you hire one? What credentials would you want?