I said some things this week I have never said before.
“I got an email from my editor.”
“I have to print my manuscript so I can send it to my editor.”
Yes, I now have an editor.
For a long time I wrote in solitude and didn’t share my work with anyone. Eventually I read some pieces to my husband and to my writing group; I even started meeting with two other memoir writers on a regular basis to share our work and provide feedback to one another. Reading my story aloud and listening to what other people glean from it has been useful to help me identify areas I need to change.
And now I have an editor.
I’m nervous about this next step, but I am also excited.
I’m nervous because by sending my manuscript to a professional editor I am taking a risk. I’m risking that she will tell me I have no writing talent and should give up my dream of publishing a book; I’m even taking a risk by allowing someone to read my personal memoir.
But I am also excited because I expect to learn a lot through this process. My editor has more than twenty years’ experience; she has worked with major book publishers; she has worked with writers and editors in New York (New York!). I am confident she will teach me more than I can imagine I even need to learn.
She is going to do a conceptual edit first, evaluating my manuscript as a whole, after which time I fully anticipate I will go into the rewrite stage. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with her to, as she says, “sculpt my story”. Until then I am working on my book proposal. Mary Demuth has some excellent resources for writers and one of those resources is a tutorial in writing a nonfiction book proposal.
Sometimes I can’t help but ask myself what in the world I am doing. What makes me think I can write a book and have it published? That old inner-critic speaks to me much too often. But I also have an inner-cheerleader telling me that I can fulfil the dream I’ve had since I was a little girl of being a published writer.
I choose to listen to the inner-cheerleader.