A year ago today, I went public with my Independent Editing lifestyle via this blog.
I call it a lifestyle not to be amusing, although it’s fine if the word causes a chuckle, or ten. I am all about laissez les bon temps rouler. I’m not trying to be political or politically correct, either, although I do believe people should be allowed to live as they wish, fairly, equally, privately or publicly, and without interference or judgment.
I’m calling this editing thing a lifestyle because, after years of working with clients through word of mouth and/or personal references, declaring to the world that I am here and open for business did, indeed, change my life .
Some of those changes are practical. A year ago, I didn’t have a website or a blog, but here I am today, having conquered the complexities [insert eye roll] of Word Press. People who know my, uh, limited capabilities with technology understand that it was a monumental task to set up this blog without assistance, calls to 911 or bouts of crying. (Okay, maybe there was a bout of crying. Just one, though.)
Over the past year, I learned to post, embed, link, update posts, manage comments, zap spam and fun stuff like that. Simple skills, but who doesn’t love a growing skill set?
Over the past year, I wrote posts that posed ethical dilemmas (Is it okay to abuse a character to drive the plot forward?); shared writing experiences (How I wrote my Evie story in one sitting.); conducted surveys (How many pages do you read before you give up on a story?); discussed writing topics (Branding, writers getaways, retreats, conferences); encouraged grant seekers (The Art of the Artist Statement); and offered lessons and impressions for other authors (How to write a novel in three acts).
Over the past year, I posted links and alerts to happenings: the DLC’s Kerouac event; Philadelphia Stories’ contest; DDOA grant deadlines; Delaware area readings; author interviews. I did some BSP, too–and will do some more right now: I’ll be guest blogging at the Working Stiffs on Thursday, and look for me in the next issue of Sisters in Crime’s Guppy Newsletter.
In short, I’ve tried to be a full service blog.
All of this, while lots of fun, was also a means to an end. I wanted to reach new clients. A year ago, I had a wonderful mix of clients. Now, I have a larger mix of wonderful clients. By this time next year, I hope to have a more wonderful mix of more wonderful clients.
Every client brings something new to me and my editing lifestyle. When I work with a new writer, I relay my understanding that turning over work for editing is a brave and terrifying step. Fiction may be made up, but stories are personal. A writer who has a story critiqued is not just offering a story, but also offering trust.
Every story that I read arrives with a silent, inherent message: I trust you to read my words, to tell me how to make my story better, to treat me and my work with respect. A person can’t do this for very long without appreciating the gravity of that message.
Over the last year, some people came to me through word of mouth. Some saw interviews I did and contacted me. Some I contacted after a writer tipped me off. Some surfed the Internet and landed on this doorstep. Some saw me rambling around on Facebook. No matter the route that got us together, every client offered the message of trust.
Those of you who have entrusted me with your work, I thank you for that honor. On this blog anniversary day, I want to put that in writing.
Merci and I look forward to another year of sharing the lifestyle.