Posts in Freelancing
Why an Editing Community Matters

People sometimes ask me how I became an editor, and the first thing I usually say is by getting involved in an editing community.

You can form an editing group in any way you’d like, and sometimes smaller is better. You can create a more organic group or you can join a professional association. Put yourself out there and see what’s right for you!

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What I Do When I'm Overwhelmed

Every January, I have this fantasy that I’m going to ease into the new year with grace, poise, and plenty of time to hang around and read with a cup of coffee in hand. And every January, I’m wrong. What is it about starting a new year that makes our schedules full?

Between my part-time job, freelance work, reading life, family life, and social commitments, I’m overwhelmed.

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How to Plan a Solo Biz Retreat

It’s a new year, and if you’re a freelancer or self-employed (or you plan to launch your business this year!), it’s time to start planning now. Entrepreneurs have to make sure they’re regularly casting a vision—one, three, or five years down the road.

Last January was the first time I had an official “solo business retreat,” and even though many things changed. . .

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No Thanks We're Booked!

It seems this "blog" exists only as a way to display announcements, but one of these days I'm convinced I will return with full force! Life is just too busy these days.

But, in the meantime, I will share some of life's bigger, exciting twists and turns here. My friend Katie and I started a bookish podcast called No Thanks We're Booked, and boy, are we loving it so far. Check out the website for details on what it's all about, how we met, episodes, and all of the social media links.

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Lately: The Reading List

Hi all!

I wanted to share some exciting news. I'm joining the team* at The Reading List, an editorial agency created by Lindsey Alexander and her partner, Salvatore Borriello. I met Lindsey through the Editorial Freelancers Association a while back and was delighted to meet her when I moved back to Raleigh, NC. I'm honored to work alongside all of these incredible editors; I know I will learn so much from their work experience and skills.

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2017 New Year's Goals

I said on my BookTube channel that I didn't have any resolutions or goals for 2017, but I've changed my mind in, oh, a day? I'm just a sucker for resolutions, you guys.

I wasn't always this way, but I'm finally coming around to the truth that I am a goal-oriented person. My downfall, however, is always my all-or-nothing goals. I tell myself I'm going all in or there's no point to it all, which is just silly. Thankfully, I don't feel that way about readathons or monthly TBRs, and reading in general.

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Lately: Scarcity vs. Abundance in Faith, Reading, and Work

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the ebb and flow of scarcity versus abundance affects my entire life. This is a mind-set we’re taught to put on from an early age—one of those subtle rules we assign meaning to in some way or another, whether it’s scarcity-thinking of finances, possessions, time, friendships . . . it truly devours and gnaws away at us, to the point where abundance is always an arm’s length away.

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I Quit My Job!

My coworkers made this amazing cake for me on my last day (all my favorite things).

I quit my job. This is a terrifying sentence to write, but I also feel electric. A year and a half ago, I devoted 100 percent of my time to freelance work, and I loved it. I had the dizzy, hopeful feeling that exciting new projects and experiences were waiting just around the corner.

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Turning Off the Editor: Letting Creativity Strike instead of the Em Dash

This past week, something unsettling happened. Well, to be real with you, a lot of unsettling things have happened recently: We uprooted and moved (back) to a hustling city we love, for starters. This place was our home, and we left it for a short time and have happily returned after three years.

This move left me a little shell-shocked (excuse the drama), stressed, and sick. I wasn’t prepared to dive into our “new” life, which happened to run head-first into our “old” life. Ah, but that’s another story for another time. . . .

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4 Things I've Learned as a Biz Boss Lady

I can’t believe how much this little brain-child business of mine has grown in the past year. I’m humbled and honored to walk alongside authors, publishers, and business professionals on their publishing journeys and creative project goals! I’ve learned a lot over the past year about what it means to be a freelance editor and writer—and a lot of what I’ve learned has nothing to do with editing or publishing. It’s amazing how our professional lives can spill out into our personal lives!

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On Writing the Gruesome Details

Perhaps the greatest thing I ever learned about writing came from my parents when I was young. Just five years old, I’d moved with my twin sister, brother, and parents to North Carolina. In those first few weeks, we saw the world through new child eyes. North Carolina was hilly; it was greener and quieter than where we lived in California or Iowa. One afternoon, when my father drove us on those small town streets, he asked my mother if the kids had ever seen roadkill. I don’t remember her words, but I imagine she scrunched up her nose and shook her head laughing.

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Editing Checklist: NaNoWriMo Revision Month

Whether you won NaNoWriMo this year and have a messy manuscript to show for it or you’ve worked tirelessly all year, carefully constructing your words to the end, every manuscript—no matter how tidy—needs an editing plan. Ask any author and he or she will agree: A first, second, third, or tenth draft is a brain-child, a labor of love. You may be the kind of author who would rather keep it hidden in your bedside drawer than let a scary, word-ripping vampire of an editor pry your story out of your dead cold hands.

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Choosing the Right Editor Is Like Dating

If you've gone through the self-editing check list after completing your novel, then it's time to (deep breath) *gently* hand over your manuscript to a professional editor. Listen. I know this is rough; your book is your baby.

You probably have a few misconceptions about editors. They're pretentious, snarky, scary monsters who will murder your manuscript with red ink, killing all of your darlings, judging every misplaced comma, and cackling at their computer screens when they get to write rejection letters (if you're submitting to a traditional publisher).

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Identifying Writer's Block

The concept of writer’s block was one I never challenged—until I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She points out—beautifully, I might add—that a block of some kind suggests “that you are constipated or stuck, when the truth is that you’re empty.”

She peels back the layers to tell us that, perhaps, we’ve been looking at the problem of a lack of creativity from the wrong angle: “If your wife locks you out of the house, you don’t have a problem with your door.”

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Deepening Characterization: How to Avoid Flat Characters—Part 2

If you’ve ever read a boring story, chances are you’ve seen the effects of Flat Character Syndrome firsthand—and it’s not pretty. In my last post, I talked about why flat characters are problematic, and how to determine if your own “darlings” are suffering the same fate. Simply put, flat characters are unrealistic. Their true emotions, conversations, struggles, motivations, and reactions don’t come across on the page. I mentioned that a few well-known symptoms of FCS include issues with point of view, inconsistencies with physical appearance, and a lack of goals, motivations, and fears.

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Deepening Characterization: How to Avoid Flat Characters—Part 1

You’ve successfully pumped out the first (or second) draft of your novel—Bravo!

You deserve a cookie (no, really, completing a book is an impressive feat, no matter how rough it may be in its current stage!). If you’re trying to motivate yourself toward self-editing or searching for the right editor for your manuscript, don’t forget to stop and pat yourself on the back.

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