Sunday, June 10, 2012

Deep Breath

Writers are mostly insecure folks who put on a brave front. It's all good. We can do this. We are writers, hear us roar.

But we're needy people. We need affirmation. We need props. We need the occasional breadcrumb thrown our way.

And by we, I :)

For the first eleven books I wrote for Barbour, I worked with the same editorial team. Rachel Overton and Aaron McCarver, from the very first book, used tact, friendship, and their considerable skills to help me hone my craft and polish my stories into the best books I could possibly produce.

I was and am very comfortable with Rachel and Aaron. That isn't to say they aren't tough when they need to be. Neither one of them lets me get away with anything!

But this last book I got edits on, I had Rachel for the content edits, but Aaron was booked solid, so I got content edits from Nancy Toback. I was NERVOUS! What if she didn't 'get' the story the way I intended? What if she wanted too many changes and the story veered from what I had envisioned?

I opened that document with one eye closed and squintin' out of the other one, bracing myself for a surprise.

Whew. Big sigh of relief. Nancy is a wonderful editor who treated my work with gentle kindness, pointing out what needed to be changed, making suggestions, and otherwise just being really nice!

This last weekend, I got content edits for Sagebrush Knights, and this time, Rachel Overton didn't do them. Again, I was nervous! Ellen Tarver did the edits, and her accompanying email was so nice and encouraging. The edits on the novellas are fairly light, and I should be able to knock them out this week.

I feel like I've made some big strides as a writer this past month, and it doesn't have a lot to do with putting words on a page, learning a new technique, trying a new strategy. It has to do with letting go of my security blanket (Rachel and Aaron) and trusting more in my writing and storytelling abilities, and Barbour's ability to choose professional, generous, talented editors to help me reach my writing goals.

So, have you had to take a deep breath in your journey lately? Have you made some progress? Have you grown?


  1. I love reading about your publishing journey! So often us unpublished writers feel like once we are published, we will have his made...forgetting that the journey really doesn't end. :)

  2. I'm echoing Sherrinda's words at the moment! I'm still trying to tame this beast. The edits have been so much slower than newer novels I've written and at times, I've had to take a deep breath. I fear sending it to CPs more than any other ms.

    But yeah, I'm growing because I can see problems where a year ago, I wouldn't have.

  3. I've had some new eyes on my work lately, and will in the upcoming future, and it's very nerve-wracking. But it IS also good for growth, so it's wonderful when we can embrace a change and make something positive about it. Good luck on those edits!