How to Choose an Editor and Other Writer Questions?

Do you have an editor? Who would you recommend? How much do they cost? How about a writing coach? Mentor? Do you know of any agents? Publishers? Writing groups?

These are just a sample of the many questions I get asked all the time. All are very valid, but they’re also difficult to answer.

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Writing, in and within itself, is a very isolating gig. It’s difficult to maintain a conversation on anything when you’re busy poking away at the keys.

It’s the same with the many different people who are out there marketing their skills–it’s tough to connect.

You’ll see people all the time on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook requesting names for an editor. In my opinion, this is a bit naive and could be a recipe for disaster.

Think about it. If you hire someone you don’t know, you’ll get just that… you don’t know.

If you’re going to ask and hire from social media. Please… Please… do your homework!

  • vet them carefully.
  • ask a zillion questions.
  • who are they? is it really Rhonda from Seattle, or is it Rodney from Moscow?
  • a legit editor will have a web presence, references, and often offer a sample edit on the first 500 words or so. Ask.
  • have you read their work?
  • are they a native speaker in the language you’re writing in?
  • what do they charge? you get what you pay for but don’t want to ripped off.
  • do you know they’re not going to pirate or steal your work?
  • have you spoken on the phone? FaceTime?
  • what is your gut telling you? Listen.
  • and finally, your writer brain… what does IT say? If there’s any doubt seek out a trusted blogger, e-zine Q and A, or other writers.

Here’s the thing, meeting a stranger online can work out, but why not get involved in your writing community and meet some experts in their field. There’s really nothing like having those connections and building a trusting professional relationship.

Source: Unsplash Thought Catalogue

As I’ve been organizing this years presenters and vendors for the Wine Country Writers’ Festival, I’m impressed–dare I say star-struck–by some of the resumes.

We have editorial experts, publishing gurus, writing coaches, and so much more all coming to one place, I am over the moon.

Connection is so important.

As a writer, you develop your voice–or the personality in your writing– it comes through and as it becomes stronger, it can become identifiable.

If someone doesn’t know your work, they can destroy that unique style and voice in your work.

I know that festivals and writing events can be expensive and inaccessible to many so make sure you choose someone you trust. Places to look:

  • blogs
  • online editing groups
  • writers you’ve read and like
  • a high school teacher
  • a college student or MFA class
  • ask someone you trust
  • magazines like Writers’ Digest
  • subscribe to newsletters to get to know the person

If you’re seeking out a professional to assist you with one of your writing projects, make sure you do your due diligence before making a decision. You can do it. Listen to your gut and writer brain instincts.

Source: Unsplash: Ian Schneider-tammbr4okv4

For Editing Questions Also Read:

Interview with Editor Michelle Barker

Interview with Editor Michelle Barker Part 2

Four Steps of Editing

Four Steps Part 2


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