Blog appreciation: March

Here are some posts by other editors and writers that I’ve enjoyed reading recently.

Editing tests, clients and the editor by Ayesha Chari

The question of whether or not editors should take tests to secure work is a fraught one. I’ll come right out and say that I’m perfectly happy to take a test for a client if I think they are likely to provide me with interesting and well-paid ongoing work. That’s not the same as doing a speculative sample edit for a one-off job, which is far less likely to pay off. As Ayesha rightly points out in this well-balanced argument in favour of taking editorial tests, it’s a nerve-wracking business. But here she explains exactly why and how taking tests can benefit a freelance editing career.

7 questions to ask before you start to write your nonfiction book by Harriet Power

There’s almost infinite advice out there on writing fiction (believe me, I’ve read an awful lot of it, and concluded that I still can’t really do it). There’s rather less on writing nonfiction. This article provides a really good introduction to writing a particular type of nonfiction book (what Harriet describes as ‘prescriptive or “problem-solving” nonfiction, such as self-help, business and how-to titles’). It’s not only useful for authors, but would help editors tasked with developing a nonfiction book for an independent author looking to augment their business marketing. It might also be useful for editors considering writing their own book to boost their business profile.

8 reasons you shouldn’t hire me to edit your writing by Denise Cowle

Denise shows in this post how content marketing should be done. By setting out what she doesn’t do (and generously linking to colleagues who do specialise in those areas along the way), and guiding the reader through the decisions they need to consider when hiring an editor, she also makes clear exactly what she herself can bring to a project, if it’s the right one. Finding the best-fit editor for your work is so important. This post also demystifies many of the things that a professional editor will do for a text, from applying different levels of editing to ensuring that language is inclusive and suited to its purpose.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus by Kia Thomas

In this very honest post, Kia shares how the events of the past year have impacted her business. She had bold intentions that were completely derailed by the crisis, including a plan for blog posts. Like so many of us, she found herself combining working with attempting to homeschool children – and also like so many of us, feeling she was somehow failing at both. (I’m sure she wasn’t.) I’ve always enjoyed Kia’s blog posts, and I hope this marks the start of more, as we – maybe? – start on the ‘long road, littered with deep, muddy holes’ back to some kind of normal.

How to write your way through brain fog by Sharon Tanton

Speaking of everything that’s been going on, I think a lot of us have been experiencing some degree of ‘brain fog’ – and it can bring things, creatively speaking, to a standstill. Sharon’s post provides practical ideas for pushing through that fog, and finding ways to write (or tackle other creative tasks) even when it seems there’s no spark – from learning to relax and find the right time and a calm space to write, to breaking down the task, and finally being kind to yourself. This last piece of advice is so widely applicable right now, it hurts.

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