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 Butler, Jeff 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?