Now that I have three clients and a great testimonial, I'm happy to announce the editing page of this website.
Editing is a skill I've been honing longer than I've been writing. After a couple of decades in interior design, I became that scary senior project manager who walked around the room pointing at other people's work. Most of the time it was to eliminate unnecessary fluff that muddied the story we were trying to tell. Even then there was a story.
How different is that from editing an interview transcript or book chapter? Not very different at all, it turns out, but my friend/mentor/client Mark Matousek had to point out to me that I was good at it. His incredibly generous testimonial is posted above. As luck would have it, I love the work. It's all about deep solitude, focus and intuition - just the life stuff one needs to be a good writer.
There are steps one takes to become truly proficient at any new passion and I haven't taken them all. I know what proficiency feels like. The muscle memory and innate knowing. And this time when I reach it, I'll get there with graceful mature leaps instead of clumsy youthful lunges. At least that's the plan.
Sending out my memoir in January was an important step and like most new writers, it was too soon. When I received useful feedback from both agents (but no commitment), I was disappointed for about five minutes. Then I sighed with relief, imagining how much better the writing would be if I came back to it with an additional year of experience.
My first personal essay was published this summer; baby steps. While I work on my own writing, I'm also ghostwriting a memoir and taking in as much editing work as possible. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and quit that day job.