When I was writing the draft of my first fantasy novel, I started to notice a strange pattern: I kept writing new material and kept revising, but I still felt like I was getting nowhere.
Despite endlessly editing and adding new characters and subplots, I still felt like I wasn’t anywhere closer to the finished novel I wanted it to be.
Which led me to a question: How do you know when your writing is finally good enough to publish?
What if you spend years of your life waiting for your work to magically be “good enough,” only to realize that you wasted those years endlessly tinkering with your manuscript because deep down you were just too scared to share it with the world?
On the flip side, we’ve all read books that seemed to be a little too hastily published…
So how do you know when the time is right?
Do you just have to guess and hope for the best?
Fear not, writer. You don’t have to guess. That’s what community is for.
As writers, we’re often too close to our work to look at it objectively and know when it’s time to publish. But working with an editor will help you understand what it is that’s working in your plotting, pacing, and prose, and what needs to be improved in order to publish.
A good editor won’t just tell you what’s wrong with your book–they’ll also tell you what’s right with your book, which is great for perfectionistic writers who need to hear from someone else that they’re on the right track after all.
All that being said, I know that this process of sharing your work with others can be daunting.
When I was getting ready to send the first part of my fantasy novel to my editor, my hand hovered over the Send button for a moment as questions flooded my mind.
What if they hate it?
What if they tell me that I’m bad?
What if my book is nothing but problems?
My doubts wanted to keep me safe and to talk me out of sharing my book with someone else. But of course I’m glad I didn’t listen to my doubts, because despite them trying to keep me “safe” (and safety is an illusion), they were also holding me back from one of the biggest things I want to accomplish in my lifetime.
For many other writers, the thought of working with an editor can be scary. Criticism can be hard to swallow, and it’s even worse when you feel like the person reading your work doesn’t really get it on a deeper level.
That’s why I approach editing a little differently. I don’t want to just make corrections to your book; I want to cheer you on and help you make your book into the best piece of art it can be.
My dream is for everyone who wants to write a novel to be able to proudly send their book into the world, because I believe that everyone has something important within them to contribute to the global conversation.
That’s why I’m convinced it’s so important to approach editing from a place of cheering writers on, which means not only looking at what needs more work, but also focusing on what’s working well so you can learn to do more of what you’re good at.
Do you want to find a cheerleader for your book? I offer free 1,000-word sample edits for writers who are ready to make their work shine.