A confession: I never thought I was wired for freelancing. I’ve spent too many years gainfully employed by one company or another to think I could adjust to the uneven work flow, the irregular income, or the lack of structure that comes with being an independent contractor. And yet, here I am. The most surprising thing for me, though, turned out to be not that I was able to adapt to going freelance, but just how easy the transition was.
Twelve years working for a New York publishing house can pound the crap out of you. I’ve seen it happen in far less time. But the truth is, I really love editing. Always have. Sure, there’s a fair share of frustration that comes with the job, because so much is beyond an editor’s control or ability to influence. I had my days of banging my head against the desk—who hasn’t? But there’s a unique sort of rush I get from brainstorming with a writer, from being one of the first people to read a manuscript, or from suggesting a turn of phrase or twist in a story that an author knows will make a positive difference.
Making a difference is, to me, what being an editor is all about. It’s the drive to want to continue collaborating with writers and helping to fuel their creative fire that led me to doing the very thing I thought I couldn’t do: re-imagine myself professionally.
It’s been an interesting journey so far. But honestly, the decision to follow this path wasn’t entirely my own. I had plenty of help: authors and former co-workers who have encouraged me; friends and family who have supported me; and a wife and children who every day make me feel as if I’m capable of anything.
All things considered, that’s actually a pretty cool place from which to begin.
Now let’s get to work.