Have you ever found yourself wondering how people get started writing? I used to think about this all of the time. I wondered if an amazingly impressive literary agent or angel of writing came down from the heavens and bopped people on the head with a magical wand pronouncing “You are now a writer!”
In reality, I have found it is a lot more like what Amanda Palmer says all artists have to do: make our own fairy wands and then hit ourselves on the heads with them – not once, but many, many times declaring:
“I’m an artist!” Bop! “I’m an artist!” Bop!
Certainly, that has been my experience. And as I have talked to some best-selling authors I have learned that is their experience too – no one told them they were gifted or special or unique – they just got to work and wrote. They got rejected. They wrote some more. Got rejected some more. Kept writing. Kept on. Simple. Not easy.
That’s the thing with writing. If you want to write then you have to actually write. You may very well need to mark out time on your calendar, hang up a do not disturb sign if need be, even leave your house or office and go down the street to a cafe so that you can write. I do it every day. Now that I am between books I have returned to some of my most basic writing practices (my favorite approach to writing btw comes from Natalie Goldberg whose work is just incredible and very straightforward), and it feels so good to return to those basics and reaffirm my commitment to writing.
However, I have also had a secret weapon in my writing ventures – one that absolutely made my book possible and that has been a guiding hand in my writing for years – and that my friends are good editors.
A good editor is someone who is not just going to check your work for punctuation errors. They are going to help you think through your work from the foundations to the ultimate vision and then support you in articulating those visions in the best possible way. They show up with a light hand and organize your writing so that it is structurally sound, has good flow, and is delivered in your unique and one of a kind voice. They hold your hand, check your sources, and make sure you are using the right attributions. They are your research assistants and guardians of your sacred voice…these are just some of the things that a good editor does.
When I wrote Making Magic I was blessed to have a wonderful editor from my publisher Sounds True – but before my manuscript ever went to the publisher I had an in-house editor: my amazing husband David, whose credentials include years of teaching high school English and Philosophy. (Trust me, if the man can get a bunch of jock kids to see the brilliance of Jane Austen, he can help you deliver your best writing yet).
David has decided to make his editorial services publicly available. I am not sure about this as the selfish part of me wants to keep my secret writing mojo all to myself, but then the not-terrible part of me wants to be generous and share…it’s a conundrum!
Bottom line: I want the best for our community and when it comes to messaging clarity, delivery, and refinement, David Saussy is the best.
My love does not have a fancy website or marketing spiel – he likes to get to work, not talk about getting to work.
He is currently booked with writing projects through July of this year, but if you are interested in talking to someone who has real editorial gifts about your own writing projects and endeavors then get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org