What Should I Know Before Hiring a Freelance Editor? (Amanda Shofner)

changeAt my presentation at the Roseville, California library I was asked, as I am often asked, how to find a good editor. I found some good advice from Amanda Shofner.

This list of the questions she answers is not enough. Go ahead and read the article.

  1. Know the type of editing you need
  2. Learn what the editor is all about
  3. Determine the genres they edit
  4. Ask whether they offer sample edits
  5. Realize that editors will make changes… but it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer

The Clash at the 23rd Mile

and the winner isMarathon runners hit a wall of physical failure near the end of the race. The will may be strong, but the human body has limits, and one of them arises at about 23 miles of constant forward movement. Issues with glucose and other chemicals I don’t know the names of shut the legs off, make the arms refuse, turn the trunk to oatmeal.

I don’t know if it’s that my allergies are especially bad (curse you, California plant life!) or the broader concept of approaching the senior discount at the movie theater, but I’m tired. We have 2,152 miles to get home, and I’m tired. Today we drive from Newport Beach to Surprise, Arizona. Not a bad day for us. Six hours door to door. We’ve done 16 at times. But I’m tired. I’d stay right here except that I’m 2,152 miles from home. I keep hearing The Clash doing Should I Stay or Should I Go? except the answer is obvious.

Nearing the end. That’s one of the times Resistance is strongest. … more … “The Clash at the 23rd Mile”

Jon Morrow of Copyblogger

Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow
If you’re tired of me parroting Tom‘s recommendations, you’d best turn your head away because here comes another one:

Jon Morrow is the agent provocateur who regularly kicks writer’s butts with his posts on not just thinking or talking about writing but actually taking writing risks and getting real work done. He was the associate editor of Copyblogger (a marketing/copywriting site I can’t recommend enough), and now throws lightning bolts from his site at Boost Blog Traffic.

Copyblogger, including Jon’s work with them, altered my perception of writing on the web. If you’re marketing without consulting Copyblogger and Jon Morrow, you’re making it unnecessarily hard on yourself.

Jane Friedman: Writing, Reading, and Publishing in the Digital Age

Jane FriedmanAnother person Tom Bentley and I are both fans of: Jane Friedman. She spent a decade guiding Writer’s Digest. She has a wee bit of insight into what’s going on in the maelstrom of modern publishing.

Dig through her writing advice archive and read Tom’s comments:

Jane Friedman’s site and work examines with an analytical but empathetic eye the windings of many writing roads, from individual authorship to self- and traditional publishing to diverse matters of writing craft and business. She is on top of the latest developments—and offers clear interpretations from that peak.

Jonathan Fields and The Good Life Project

Another snippet from Tom Bentley’s blog. I’ll weigh in as well, because I love Jonathan Fields and the Good Life Project.

Jonathan is good at letting people talk. These aren’t interviews so much as led conversations. He’s not showing up with a list of questions to elicit the facts they want to share. He’s in the moment, helping someone he’s excited about share their passion with us.

His book Career Renegade changed my life. I’m still working on Uncertainty after my second reading, trying to move it from head knowledge to heart action.

Tom comments:

Jonathan Fields is a guy who almost seems like a data-delighted high priest of writing, with his winning blend of using logic, science and especially the human touch to plumb and understand the depths of communication. His Good Life Project is a probing, reflective series of interviews with people who have struggled in their work and personal lives and gained great (and instructive) ground in understanding and elaborating on the human condition. And how to live richly and well within that humanness. Fields is a fine author as well.

Jonathan Fields' Good Life Project

Getting Your Book Out of the “Someday” Box by Finding Why

Getting Your Book Out of the Someday BoxThe greatest challenge to getting your book out of the “someday” box isn’t writing, it’s starting. It helps if you spend some time finding why; if you clearly establish your real reason for writing a business book.

  1. Are you writing a book to make money? Don’t. Virtually all books sell less than 500 copies. Ever. Even if you make $12 a copy (which is pretty good), you just made $6,000.
  2. To establish yourself as an expert. Good reason. If you literally wrote the book, you’ll be recognized as an authority on your subject.
  3. … more … “Getting Your Book Out of the “Someday” Box by Finding Why”

A Long Hard Look: Writing a Light Mystery in Public

A Long Hard LookI’m working on a light mystery novella. (It’s either a big novella or a short novel. Seems I keep hitting the word count just between established norms. Surprise.)

Been posting a 1,000-word chapter every weekday at my personal blog; 17 so far. Start reading Chapter 1 now. Unless you have an important appointment in the next hour. Think potato chips.

What Readers Say:
I love it so far!! – Rebeccah

I love the way you continue raising questions to be answered throughout the chapters instead of just having the murder itself as the puzzle. That made for a great hook. – Elizabeth

High-Income Business Writing Podcast by Ed Gandia

Ed Gandia High Income Business WritingTom Bentley mentioned Ed Gandia in a recent post. If you’re looking for freelance writing advice, I trust Tom’s judgment. Check Ed out.

Ed Gandia is a successful freelance copywriter, author, speaker and coach—and a great guy (at least from seeing, reading, and hearing him online). His The High-Income Business Writing podcast hosts informative writers talking on practical freelancing topics. He’s the co-author of the bestselling and award-winning book The Wealthy Freelancer, as well as the founder of the International Freelancers Academy.

Write with Your Heart, Edit with Your Head

fountainWriting has to flow, like water. Writers thirst.

Imagine, though, if you were dying of thirst (you are, you’re a writer) and the person holding the hose kept shutting it off so they could adjust something. Spurt of water; shut it off, adjust. Spurt of water, shut it off, adjust.

You’d strangle ‘em, screaming “Just give me the water!”

That’s what your heart is doing when you write slowly, methodically, with your head. Because you don’t write with your head, you write with your heart. You edit with your head.

No one but you will see your unedited words, so don’t worry about whether they’re perfect.

Because if you worry that they’re perfect, nobody but you will ever see your words, period.

My Time to Write – Guest Post by Cheryl Campbell

In an email, Cheryl mentioned her writing schedule, and pointed out that she keeps it flexible. I asked her to tell us more about it.

flexible scheduleMy writing routine typically works out that I am at the computer for a couple hours on Thursdays, hopefully an hour or so on Saturdays, and a few hours on Sundays. I spend several hours twice a week traveling and bouncing between airports. Couple this with long work days when I’m on the road and I do not sit down to write. Being out of town much of the week, my weekends are busy catching up with things around the house, doing errands, and prepping to fly out again on Monday.
… more … “My Time to Write – Guest Post by Cheryl Campbell”