Art Deco building facade, Oklahoma City
I recently got a job editing a friend’s novel. For me, editing her book is a complete joy—it doesn’t even feel like work. And besides being a great financial boon towards my Japan trip, it has sparked two epiphanies for me.
Firstly, the friend that hired me planted the seed that I should become a professional editor. She’s got me thinking about it. I’ve been in a writing group for over ten years–critiquing and giving notes–and I’ve been writing for more than twenty years, attending classes, conferences and workshops. I’ve written copy for websites and products, I’ve composed bios, edited a dissertation for a Pacifica student, done copious amounts of line editing and proofing. I have a natural talent for organizing, setting things in order. Clearly I’m capable. Besides, it’s something I can do from the comfort of my own home, at any time of night or day…in my pajamas…with my kitties!!! Heaven!
Secondly, having had an (amazing) editor myself for Silky, I have the perspective of how it feels to be on the other end of receiving notes as a writer. I understand the importance of another set of eyes to smooth out the rough bits, to capture the parts that didn’t end up on the page, to carefully carve away the superfluous. And to encourage and support a fellow writer!
My belief in reincarnation includes the notion that we must each spend many incarnations in an infinite configuration of lifetimes in order to become one with universal consciousness. To understand the interconnectedness of all things, we must play all the parts: once the mother, we must experience being the child; once the victim, we must fill the shoes of the perpetrator; and so on. Having been the writer receiving critique, I now have the experience to be the editor who can compassionately give notes.
My gift is with words. I am detail oriented and have been blessed with the knack for “noticing.” It’s something I enjoy and something I’m good at. It may be the thing that I’m the very best at in this life, in this incarnation. So why am I not making a living at it? It’s time for me to have the courage to embrace it. As Sylvia would say, anything else is just “toiling.”