Back in 2011 I turned my friendly critiquing services for fellow writers into a lucrative editing business. I freelance edited as well as worked for two romance publishers over the next three years, essentially editing over 100 novellas and novels. I also write romance, which has been no easy feat. I know how hard finding the perfect balance between romance and plot is, how adding too many sensory elements and emotion can overwhelm the reader, how dry my sex scenes can get. I know and still struggle with all this and my editor calls me out on it every time.
When I edit your book, I’ll call you out on it too.
Photo Credit www.scribendi.com
I started my business to help unpublished writers. Really, I started it because I wish I’d known the things I do now when I first started writing, before I got over 100 rejections from agents, editors, and publishers for my work, and went through tears, screams, and disappointment. That’s my goal when you hire me to edit for you, but the past few years have made me realize something.
Not everyone can accept the criticism I can.
For example, I emailed one of my clients her first editorial letter, and she decided to give up writing for life. It devastated me. Even after I listed the parts of her book I enjoyed, included comments in the manuscript that made me laugh or got my blood pumping, she decided never to write again because she couldn’t handle the revisions suggested. And I never want that to happen. Ever.
So here is my letter to all you writers drafting your first book/writers planning to self-publish that book:
You are amazing. You have taken time out of your life, your families, your relationships, to finish a project so many people wish to accomplish in their lives. You wrote a book. I applaud you. I worship you. I admire you.
Your friends and family may not take you seriously, but I do. I know how many hours you spent at that computer, how many times you rewrote the same sentence over and over, how many blog posts you went through in hopes of finding the answer you needed. I know. Because I’m a writer. Just like you.
And because we are so alike, I’m telling you right now do not lose hope.
You will have to revise that book. Several times. But do not lose hope. Whether the suggestions come from a critique partner, editor, agent, or publisher, they are for the best because these people are trying to help you succeed and see things you may not be able to see in your own work. Listen to their suggestions. Consider them. Do not brush them off because you’re not willing to work that hard. And put your best work out there.
You will experience rejection. From a lot of people. But do not lose hope. Not only agents, editors, or publishers, but from your closest friends, family, and readers. You can not please everyone. Write for you. Write because you will explode if you don’t get the story down on paper.
You will read bad reviews. But do not lose hope. Ignore them. The only thing that will come from it are tears, self-loathing, and the urge to quit writing. Don’t do that to yourself. You’re better than you think you are.
You will not make money. But do not lose hope. You didn’t get into writing for the money. Right? RIGHT?
No matter how hard the work or the industry get, you are stronger. You are able to put the best book you’ve ever written on the market. You are able to create worlds no one had ever seen or read about. You are able to make couples fall in love. You are able and I believe in you.