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IWSG: Editorial Opinions

Today you get the double whammy. It is the first day of the A to Z Challenge and the day for our monthly IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group) post. My focus is on editorial opinions.

On and off I work with editors. Most often they are from within the publishing house publishing my books. Sometimes, I work with freelance editors. My last editor and I worked together on and off for about 9 years. With many projects on my plate (grants, submissions, and so forth) I decided four eyes would be better than my two subjective ones.

I set about looking for a new editor. I'd found my last editor on one of the now defunct online freelancer boards. I looked at, urged on by unsolicited emails I've been receiving from this new startup. Then thought oDesk would be more suitable for my needs.

I write about all this for IWSG Wednesday because hiring an editor means you have to release some of your insecurities. It forces you to show your work to strangers and receive opinions. It was not a move I enjoyed. In fact, this is what the insecure writer within me had to say about showing my work to countless editors, until I found the right one:

Anyway, I did all the standard stuff. I put out the ad, got more than sixteen candidates and then narrowed it down to 5 suitable candidates. Next, I sent sample work to be edited. I've got to say, this made me cringe but I did it anyway. Gritting my teeth, much like in my self-portrait below, I read the sample edits and moved on to interviews.

Stephanie Rose Bird, "Stifled Voice" Mixed Media on Paper

Not too shabby, I thought to myself. Yes, each person had their opinions on how the work could be strengthened. Ultimately, the process of putting my work out into the world for objective feedback was helpful. After overriding my tendencies to be private about my work, until it's absolutely necessary to part with it, I ended up finding a very good editor.


  1. It has to be hard to hear a critique of your work. And as writers we tend to fall in love with some of our writing, like our children, and hate to hear negative comments. But I know it is necessary and if you find a good editor, terrific.

  2. I like how seriously you approached your search. Glad you found a good one!

    1. Karen, yes, I'm serious about my work so it was wise to also be serious about who'd look it over for me.

  3. What an excellent way to find one. I actually hadn't thought about going about it the way you did. Great advice.


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