So, if you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, you may have noticed an increase in self-promotion. Whether it is promoting this blog, my Patreon or even my freelance editing business, it’s definitely been heightened. There are a lot of reasons for this, but that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to be able to expand where the limits of social media (by characters) often doesn’t allow you to dive into. Today, I want to talk about why I love freelance editing.
Why I Love Freelance Editing
For context: I’ve been a freelance editor (part-time) since August 2019. It’s definitely had ups and downs, and it’s also been a huge learning journey for me. But, like I mentioned above, promotional efforts on social media are meant to highlight what I offer and what I can do. But it’s never been a good way to showcase why I do it (I mean, c’mon, I write an average of 1K blog posts on the regular; not exactly doable in 240 characters).
So, below is a breakdown of both what I love (and what I struggle with) as a freelance editor.
So, not surprisingly, in a post where I want to talk about why I love freelance editing, that there is an entire section about the positives. And oh wow, are there a lot. Things like:
Working with writers
I mean, this probably isn’t surprising, is it? As a writer, reader and all around nerd myself, getting to work with fellow writers is incredible. I am constantly inspired by the stories I read. By the passion my clients have. Sharing our dreams, getting frustrated at publishing as a whole, and learning together is such a wholesome experience.
I am grateful for every writer who has trusted me with their work. That trust is never taken for granted, nor is it forgotten.
Becoming a better editor and writer myself
This feels natural with this position, does it not? Because I want to continue to serve the writers who trust me to the best of my ability, I constantly want to be a better editor. Whether that looks like reading craft books, continuing my MFA or taking courses and looking into certifications; I always want to be the best editor I can be.
In learning to be a better editor and working with others to level up their writing, I also continue to learn to strengthen my own editorial eye. Both of which are just completely invaluable.
Giving back what I’ve learned
This is probably one of my favorite aspects of why I love freelance editing. I have been querying since I was 17 years old. I’ve been invested in the publishing industry for over a decade. Completing two internships with two different literary agencies and literary agents in various genres. I’ve written eight books and just started my ninth.
Through all of this, there has been a lot of mistakes made in my own publishing journey, simply because I just didn’t know. And even more information learned. Sometimes, I forget about my own growth and what I’ve learned, and how secretive and confusing the publishing industry can be. Sharing that information with a writer so they can avoid the mistakes I’ve made? That feeling is indescribable.
The chance to build community
One of my ultimate goals is to grow enough that I can create a community amongst the writers I’ve worked with, so that they always feel supported–and, have the chance to support one another. It’s not something I’ve quite got the bandwidth to do yet, but it’s a dream. I don’t want writers to hire me just because I can help them with their writing. Though, obviously, that is my main goal. No, I want writers to hire me because I can support them beyond only edits and feedback.
And, finally: I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that the extra income earned is a huge factor. Like I’ve mentioned before, this business is what I’m using to help pay off medical debt that has accrued and hung over me for years because I had no other choice. Eventually, it’ll be used to continue paying student loans, if those aren’t forgiven. I would be remise if I didn’t admit that I love the financial breathing room and support working with people gives me.
Perhaps surprisingly that I’m including a section detailing the negatives. Yet I am. I have this section because transparency is important to me, alongside being human. And, despite loving this job, there are things that I struggle with. Like:
Inconsistency + Full-Time Career
2020 was a surprisingly busy year for me, in the freelance editing realm. It was incredible and rewarding and made me feel like I could do this full-time. Yet 2021 and 2022 were drastically quieter, with less work, less clients and less interaction, all resulting in less pay. And, of course, the lovely downward spiral of questioning everything.
One of the main reasons I haven’t made this a full-time career is because of this inconsistency and the lack of security (at least, as a newer editor), both in work and in pay (not to mention that 30% of what I make goes to the government). Some of this is due to me struggling to learn to market and promote effectively and often. Yet much of this is just due to the nature of the work and things outside of my control.
Yet I do dream to do this full-time and support myself with confidence. One day.
Imposter Syndrome + Marketing
The other thing I struggle the most with is imposter syndrome, especially with self promotion and marketing. I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished and I absolutely love the work I do. Plus, I recognize that I will not grow and make the dream of this being a career into a reality without marketing and promotion. Yet, I have to work to quiet that voice that tells me to stop, that I’m not good enough or I don’t deserve to earn money doing a job I love.
Wow, that ended up being a long post. 😅 Thank you so much for reading such a long look at why I love freelance editing. It’s truly something I enjoy and I am so, so grateful for every writer. Those who hire me, of bloody course. But also each of us who tell stories. Even on the days it feels impossible, or difficult, or terrifying. You’re powerhouses, each and every one of you, and deserve to have your stories told and out in the world.
If you’d like to look at my services, you can check them out here.
Best of luck to you, in your writing adventures!