Those people who know me, know that I’m a very
arrogant confident man in most everything. I’m self-assured and combined with my keen intellect, emotional control, and high standards, I tend to drive people crazy. I tend to know a lot about everything because everything interests me. With all that in mind, why would I hire an editor? Despite all that, I know of my weaknesses and try to improve them and most of all, I need guidance.
Writing’s a tricky thing. You have NO guidance and no way of knowing how good you truly are. In most things, there’s competition of some sort. You compare yourself against other teams or individuals. There are times, victories, distances, etc., where you truly know how good you are. In writing, there’s none of that.
It’s a solitary pursuit and the quality of the product means very little. You can write a bad book and sell millions and you can write a good book and sell nothing.
To get back on track, I needed guidance and still do. I wanted to write a good product, but more importantly, I wanted to write the story I wanted to tell. I wanted to have something I would be happy with. And I am not an easy man to please.
I’m not a rich man, but I saved money until I could afford to hire my editor. It still amazes me on what other writers spend their money on. I see a lot of writers go to multiple conventions a year. That is probably the biggest money sink of them all. I personally think those conventions are a waste of time unless you want to have fun, see your friends, meet a celebrity or two, game, and relax. I would never go just for writing though. At best, you could network and networking with people would take multiple conventions. I also believe cons are best when you’re already established and making a name for yourself and most are not.
Writing conferences are also another one I see people go to. I’ll never understand that one. People go to conferences to see agents, editors, and publishers for a few minutes. Those are some expensive minutes to get a little bit of time to someone who will probably forget you.
Now, I like the going away for a couple of weeks to Clarion or some other writing program. To me, that’s a bootcamp for writing for anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. There are problems though. First, you have to qualify and get in. Secondly, you have to basically put your life on hold for awhile.
Instead of going away for a few weeks, I like hiring an editor instead. Yes, you pay your editor and you only get one point of view, but you do work closely with her. I found it to be a lot like working with a teacher who you didn’t have to share.
Anyways, that’s why I hired an editor and where I put most of my money. Do I believe it was worth it? You tell me.