Monday, August 27, 2012

When One Door Closes, Another Opens


This is so not what I’d planned on posting about today, but something unexpected happened the other night. First, a little background:

Many of you know I’m an interior designer by trade. I’ve run my own business in the field of model home merchandising since 1997. But in 2007, the economy, and home-building in particular, took a major nose-dive. Since then, I haven’t been working much in my field. The first 2 years off, I cooked and baked a lot. Then in 2010, I started writing. Since then, I’ve spent every moment possible honing my craft and becoming as skilled a writer as possible.

Some I've learned from books and blogs, but mostly from reading and critiquing other manuscripts. I believe critiquing to be the single best way to improve one's craft.

I take it very seriously. I’m brutally honest, kind, fair, constructive, and very thorough. Unless asked otherwise, I’ll edit down to the very last period—for grammar, content, characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, you name it. If it doesn’t work for me, I’ll explain why and give examples on how to fix it.

Critiquing has brought me great friendship, too.  Lisa Regan, Carrie ButlerJeff O'Handley, all good friends and skilled critique partners.  Working with them and my many other partners ensured my manuscript was clean, layered, and rich.  It also had a significant impact on my writing style. 

Well, out of the blue last month, my publisher asked me to critique a 75,000 word manuscript.  I found this request quite complimentary; they expressed considerable faith in my ability.  I completed the critique with nearly 1,100 comments.  Afterwards, I was told I had a “natural eye for editing.”  They suggested I consider freelance editing, and, after going back and forth a bit, my publisher offered me a contract.  Can you believe it?
  
I am now a freelance editor!



How cool is that?

I’ve often heard, when one door closes, another opens. Well, I believe it. A new opportunity has arisen, just when I needed it most. Can you imagine, getting paid to read? Okay, so it’s a lot more than that. A LOT MORE! But still, it’s reading. And to be honest, I can’t simply read for pleasure anymore anyway. No matter whose book or how well written, I cannot turn off that inner editor.

I'm grateful; my publisher is willing to work around my writing schedule so that I may finish my second novel, a sequel to The Mistaken. After all, that’s what’s most important to me. But making a little something on the side doing what I love most is a pretty cool gig.

Don’t you think?


47 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nancy, that is awesome! Now everything revolves around writing. Congratulations.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

What an awesome opportunity! Congratulations, Nancy. That's like a dream job!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is wonderful, wonderful news! Good for you!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That's awesome, Nancy. It's one thing when a writer decides to do freelance editing on the side. It doesn't mean they are good at it. It's a different thing when a publisher offers you a contract for it. :D

Ellis Shuman said...

Congratulations Nancy! Good news!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats Nancy! That's wonderful news. So happy for you.

mmshaunakelley said...

That is so wonderful! Not to be trite, but I actually firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I hope any difficulties you've faced can be considered stops along the road to a successful career in books!

S.P. Bowers said...

That's pretty awesome! Congrats and good luck with it all.

Shell Flower said...

Wow, congrats. Sounds like things are coming around for you. Good luck with your new endeavors!

Jennee Thompson said...

That's great! Good luck with it! It's amazing what an honest critique will do. I once did that for a friend and tore apart her story in an honest way. She didn't speak to me for two years. Now she's getting it self published and my friend is helping her with it and he keeps telling me that everything about the book was weak, but she won't listen, therefore, she won't grow as a writer. :(

VikLit said...

Congrats, what great news!

Siv Maria said...

Good luck, you deserve it!

Lisa Regan said...

Woo hoo!!!! I think this is awesome!!! This could not be more perfect for you. And you know I love how thorough you are!!!!

Chris Fries said...

Wow! That's fabulous and tremendous news, Nancy!!! Congratulations!

I think you clearly have a gift for writing, and I'm so happy that you've reached the point where you can use that talent to support yourself -- you're livin' the dream!!!! Woot!

"Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life" (Confucius)


Cassie Mae said...

Awesomesauce!!! That's great, Nancy, congrats!!!

Melissa said...

How totally cool is that! Congratulations!!! :D

JeffO said...

Very cool, Nancy. I can indeed attest to your thoroughness and attention to detail. Nicely done!

Robyn Ivy Proctor said...

that really great--so happy for you!

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

Eva Gallant said...

Congratulations! that is awesome!

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Awesome news, Nancy. I couldn't agree more that when one door closes another opens. I'm so happy for you. Congratulations!

Andrew Leon said...

I think those other doors are always open; we just have a hard time seeing them because of the one we're concentrating on.
Congrats for the editing gig!

Livia said...

I definitely believe in when one door closes, another door opens. I had so many ambitions and those doors closed till that door opened: film criticism. I'm planning to keep that door open but who knows, what else I'll get into. Well said, Nancy!

Carrie Butler said...

Congratulations, Nancy! I'm so proud of you. :) I'm going to tell everyone I know, "My critique partner/pub sister is an editor now!"

jamieayres.com said...

Wow, that is awesome, Nancy! Congrats and I totally know what you mean about not being able to read strictly for pleasure any longer~CHEERS

Nicky Wells said...

Nancy, this is the most wonderful news. I am so happy for you, and proud of you too! Whooop--you are a superstar, rock on! :-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats! It's amazing how opportunities arise and take us in directions we never imagined.

Liza said...

What a wonderful and upbeat post. Congratulations to you! Such a wonderful example of the window of opportunity!

Samantha May said...

That is amazing! I am extremely JEALOUS of all the reading you will be doing and from what you've described, it sounds like this job was made for you!!

Best of luck :)

Ciara said...

That is SO cool. There is something crazy going on behind the closed door, and I'm hoping it will lead to something. ;)

Ciara said...

That is SO cool. There is something crazy going on behind the closed door, and I'm hoping it will lead to something. ;)

Kelley Lynn said...

Oh my gosh Nancy!!! That is AWESOME!

This is the best comment: I believe critiquing to be the single best way to improve one's craft.

Its so true and you must be SO excited! I can't wait for your book to come out. Congrats again!

Chuck said...

Congrats Nancy!! I think I would be nervous and excited at the same time to have you reviewing my book...if I ever actually write something :)

Lynda R Young said...

That's so brilliant, Nancy! Love it when those unexpected doors open. Congrats!

Michael Abayomi said...

Congratulations, Nancy. I'm so, so happy for you. :D

cleemckenzie said...

I value keen eyed editors like nobody else! Congratulations, Nancy.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think this is the kewlest news! Congratulations, Nancy. You go girl!

Carol J. Garvin said...

I've popped over here to visit from Joylene's blog. What exciting news. Congratulations and all the best as you undertake this new venture.

LD Masterson said...

A very cool gig indeed. Congratulations.

klahanie said...

Hi Nancy,
Now that's a win, win situation! This might surprise you, but Gary, the human I allow to live with me, gets loads of manuscripts sent to him. Although, your editing expertise will, no doubt, be of much benefit.
Did you know that I'm an acclaimed 'pawblisher'?
Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star! xx

Cynthia said...

Congratulations on your new job. Love how everything just fell into place for you!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Congratulations! That is wonderful.

Aimée Jodoin said...

Congratulations!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow, Nancy. Congratulations!

Carol Kilgore said...

Wonderful opportunity for you! Congratulations :)

Jericha Senyak said...

That's marvelous, Nancy. Sometimes the strangest roads lead us to exactly where we want to be.

Nicole Pyles said...

How awesome!!!! Good for you on the next leg of your journey!!