How Hiring An Editor Elevated My Manuscript & My Confidence

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Spending money on something that is not making money can be difficult to justify. Trust me, I know better than anyone what it’s like to feel guilty about spending money on books and writing when essentially, it’s a hobby. Or is it?

If I were to argue that writing and reading provide my mind with what exercise gives my body, I’d have a pretty good argument. But I’m not here to argue. My point is that there is value in hiring an editor, and frankly, I wish I did it sooner.

Time can go by slowly while you bob up and down, trying to hold onto the flotation device that you are riding in a sea of words and critique partner suggestions that can excite, disappoint and confuse you all at the same time. These kinds of opinions are worth their weight in gold when they come from your most trusted and respected fellow writers, but when they come from a stranger, it’s a hit-and-miss between ‘keep your skin on’ and ‘that smells nice.’

Most of all, the confusion caused by too much treading water was costing me because I was full of doubt and that was not helping my confidence.

Through querying my manuscript, I had worked out that I could write and had an intriguing premise, but something was missing. And even though I had read Save The Cat and had a manuscript assessment, I still wasn’t hitting all the beats for a sellable women’s fiction manuscript.

Enter an editor.

I sent off my manuscript to an editor when it was “as good as I could make it” at the time. I knew it could be better, but I just didn’t know how to improve it any further. So although I was worried about the cost, I knew it was time to employ this editor. And boy was it the best thing ever!

Three weeks later, I had 1092 revisions to consider!

One month later, I had dealt with all 464 insertions, 459 deletions, 10 moves, 113 formatting issues, and 46 comments. It wasn’t easy, but I was motivated, confident, and more determined than ever to get published. Multiple emails, phone calls and a Zoom chat also helped to nut out the direction I was going to go with my edits.

Now I have finished the final round of edits, it’s actually unbelievable (there were so few)! And this feeling of accomplishment is amazing, to say the least.

I was a writer who second-guessed herself, worked at a sloth's pace, and swung between wanting to be published and never really believing I was good enough. But after going through the editing process with Fiona from Beyond Words Literary Agency, I am confident in my work and ability and hopeful this manuscript will be published.

That is priceless!


Kelly Sgroi is based in Melbourne, Australia. She’s now represented by Beyond Words Literary Agency, is a content writer at Social Media Tribe and is an enthusiastic member of the writing community who conducts author interviews and posts book reviews. She has some short works published by WOW! Women on Writing, Dream Journal, The Endometriosis Foundation of America, Endometriosis Australia, and a few Medium publications. Her debut manuscript is a women’s fiction story about motherhood.


Nicole Pyles said...

Great article! And it's something that can make the world of difference. Investing in your writing feels like a big step but when you know you are ready to make that investment, it's worth it.

Kelly Sgroi said...

Thanks Nicole. I agree. For someone who lives and breathes writing, Investing in your writing can be the best gift you can give yourself.

Anonymous said...

Loved reading this - it can be such a scary thing to spend money on ourselves, but as you said, it’s fuel for the creative mind and heart, and brings so much joy. I’m so glad you had a great editorial experience 💕

Renee Roberson said...

Kelly, I used to be hesitant about investing money in my writing, too, but I wish I had done it sooner. Taking classes, entering contests, going to conferences, and paying for manuscript edits are all part of our growth as writers. I love how you describe writing and reading as exercise for your mind the way physical movement is for your body. I can't wait to see where the rest of this journey takes you!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Kelly, I totally relate! For ten years, I figured I was learning enough by editing articles on the craft of writing, but still couldn't get anywhere. Then I took a writing workshop and hired an editor, and started publishing work all over the place! I think the act of spending money on yourself/your craft helps develop confidence, holds you accountable, and speeds up the publishing process tremendously. I'm so happy you feel confident in your work, and wishing you much success! Congrats on finding an agent, and looking forward to hearing more about your journey. :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Congratulations on not only finding representation but in making leaps and bounds on your manuscript. Money will spent!

Kelly Sgroi said...

Thanks for reading! It does bring so much joy because we absolutely love writing!

So true! Investing in your writing helps you grow. And I hope to keep my mind fit enough to keep writing ongoing.

Yes, it's so confidence-building! It also speeds me up so much. I find it so motivating to have a deadline that I'm working towards and someone I can rely on to read my work.

Thank you! Money very well spent.

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