Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My biggest frustration as a writer

I think everyone gets frustrated at some point with himself or herself. I’m feeling that way now. After writing and publishing seven books, I thought I could do a pretty good job of editing my own work. Since I’m self-publishing this time around, I decided to have an editor do a sample edit on ten pages. I was wrong about being able to do my own edits.

And here’s the worst part—I’m also an editor. I work for a couple of publishers and I also do freelance work. How frustrating is that? And not to mention, embarrassing. I can easily spot a writer’s weakness, but I am blind to my own weaknesses. It’s like having a super power you can use to help everyone except yourself. Or maybe it’s a writer’s curse. Writers have been gifted the skill to create stories, but we are unable to polish the stories by ourselves because we are too close to our own work to be able to really “see” the obvious errors. Another pair of fresh eyes is always needed.

Professional editors aren’t cheap, so it really bothers me that I have to shell out a lot of money to give to another editor when I am capable of editing. But this is necessary in order to publish a good book. I have reluctantly accepted that I need an editor, though I still complain about it. It makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone in this—all writers need an editor.

If I can give new writers advice, it would be this: Don’t cut out the editor. This is the same advice I would give experienced writers as well, especially for self-publishing.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author



Two mortals are caught in the midst of the battle between the Titans and Olympian gods.

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1 comment:

Kaye Spencer said...


I understand exactly why you're frustrated. I, too, do a bit of freelance editing, and as an author, I write a pretty 'clean' story to begin with, but I still can't completely edit my own work. I can come darn close, but it's not good enough to publish. So I pay an editor. *sigh* But that's okay, because the trade-off is public humiliation if readers pick the story apart. ;-)