"Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." -- Gene Fowler
Writing is easy, but good writing is hard! The process can be challenging, and the prospect of sharing something so personal with the outside world is often intimidating. And sometimes, you get tired of looking at your manuscript, and wonder if it's any good at all.
Should you hire a professional editor?
If you are new to writing, there are two reasons to hire an editor. The first is to learn and grow as a writer--it's an investment you make in order to learn about the craft, especially if you haven't been formally educated in this field. Many of the writers I work with have no writing qualifications, but they all share a passion for reading, and a compelling urge to tell their stories. The critique serves as a writing bootcamp in this case--you'll receive a vocabulary as well as a diagnosis for your concerns with your manuscript.
The second reason to hire an editor is to increase your chance of publication. No editor can guarantee publication, but an error-free manuscript has a significantly better chance of finding an agent/publisher.
At what stage of the writing process should you hire an editor?
Ideally, you should finish a draft, let it sit for a bit, and then look at it again to figure out how you can make it stronger--before approaching an editor. Don't pay for the editor to point out errors you could have spotted, had you left the manuscript alone for a week and looked at it with fresh eyes!
Having said that, the approach really depends on what the writer wants and needs. Some writers seek guidance early in order to eliminate avoidable errors in the later stages of the manuscript.
A good editor will guide and support the writer while being sensitive to the writer's particular needs and background. S/he will leverage the writer's skills while suggesting ways to strengthen deficits in the prose. All critiques will be made in the context of the larger work, and will be specific and actionable. Above all, professional editors will never impose their opinions or vision on the client's manuscript.
My critiquing philosophy in a nutshell: I believe the author has a unique story to tell. Together, we'll figure out the most compelling way to convey it to the reader.
Please see the services and rates page for more details about the types of editing packages I offer.