Freaking out. We all do it. We all have our triggers and anxieties. It is said that artists can be an insecure bunch; this includes writers. I can’t count how many times an author prefaces a manuscript submission with, “I’m sorry this is going to be so bad.” Then, when they have not heard from me by the 4th day of my 30-day contracted edit, I will get emails asking, “Is it that bad?”
Stop freaking out. I love my job, I love my authors, I love everything about what I do. You are in a safe space with Modified Editing Services.
I am here to support my authors. My number one priority is the success of my authors. It does not matter, the level of your writing prowess—I’m here to help. When you go to your doctor, do you sit on the exam table, swollen and snotty, begging forgiveness for contracting the flu? When you go to the bank, do you apologize to the teller because your deposit is so big? (Or so small, as the case may be.) I know you don’t mea culpa your way through the checkout line at the grocer because you are purchasing more Ben & Jerry’s than broccoli.
I’m here to perform a service for you. I have seen it all. You need not worry about what you are presenting to me; I will never berate or reprimand you. It is a fact that I can be direct; but to coddle a client does nothing for your future. I am not here to rewrite your work—I am here to make your work better and to leave you with tools for your future writing endeavors.
If you need assurance, ask one of my authors. (See testimonials page.) I’ve said it before: in all my years of editing, I have had one client with whom I was not “on the same page”, and one client who was obstinate and angry at everything I corrected or suggested. The rest of my client interactions have been rewarding for both of us. There is nothing to fear by going to an editor—any editor. We are all human and, with hope, anyone providing editing services will be respectful of that. For goodness sake, I fat-thumb mistakes from my iPhone to my Facebook every day. Thankfully, Facebook now has the EDIT feature!
Failure Confession: My 8th grade son was getting a C in English class. One of his steps in writing a term paper was to hand-edit then transfer the corrections and format the document on the computer. I offered (read: mandated) to help with this portion, after all, editing is my job.
I brought his grade down to a D-.
WTH?!?! This was a time I freaked out, and you can imagine, so did my son.
Why am I telling you this? Part of my job as your editor is to know your audience! If you are submitting to an agency who insists on APA style formatting, and requires (irritatingly so) double spaces between every sentence and paragraph, I need to stylize this uniformly throughout your manuscript. If a publisher wants MLA style source citation, I need to make sure that’s what I do for you.
Let’s just say I did everything the exact opposite of my son’s teacher’s requirements. He pulled through and fixed everything, bringing his grade up to a B-, though. And I am no longer allowed to format his papers.