Insecure Writers Support Group – I lack an editor

Ahh, annual airing of insecurities.



And today I shall come out and say the unthinkable, “I don’t have an editor.” This is a mortal sin in the publishing world. And I get it, I do. I’m a lousy proofreader. In addition to my love of weirdly arranged sentences, I have this horrible habit of hitting the comma key every time I stop to think. And I don’t always catch the random ones, or know where to put them ones that aren’t supposed to be random.

And yet, I still publish my work. I feel highly conspicuous about it too.  Like there’s this big blinking neon sign with an arrow over my stories.

The thing is, I cannot afford an editor. I have three kids, and I haven’t worked in nearly five years, because I would have had to pay more in child care than I got paid. Writing has been my solace and my peace of mind these past few years. And I am truly prolific.

So should I sit on all these stories until I can afford an editor, which might be never? Or put them out there, edited to the best of my ability (and my friends who will help), knowing that the general public doesn’t care more about random commas than a good story?

I, obviously, made my choice.

And why is that if you record an album in your living room with kid crying and phones ringing in the background you’re an indie god that’s bucking the system and staying true to yourself, but if you publish without an editor you’re a hack who can’t take rejection and doesn’t take your work seriously? And if you can show me an professionally edited book without a single grammar error or typo, I will eat a 100 dollar bill in front you, without salt.

And despite knowing all of that, I still feel like there’s a blinking neon arrow over my stories…

5 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Support Group – I lack an editor

  1. I didn’t have an editor for my first few stories.

    Fun fact: the only reviews I ever received that mention editing are on the books where I paid a lot of $ for editing. Actually, the editing comments went up proportionately with the amount of money I spent on editing. Make of that what you will.

    I think if you have 6+ people beta reading your stuff, and a friend proofing, you probably will catch the major stuff. Will ever comma be appropriate? Maybe not. But the average reader won’t be jilted out of the story.

    But if you want one less thing to be insecure about, I have a few pretty cheap editors I can refer your way 🙂


  2. I struggle with this too. People telling you what you need or should be doing. I say keep rolling with what you are doing. I agree with Amelia, most people won’t mind an extra comma. 🙂 I found you through IWSG. I am a co-host this month….great to meet new blog friends!


  3. It’s one of those things where if people *know* you don’t have an editor, they look out for the mistakes and the commas that haven’t been picked up, and it’s all your fault. If you are known to have an editor, these things either don’t get noticed (or commented on at least) or, if they do, they are either accepted or your editor’s fault.

    If you do things “differently” to how the majority do or seem to do, then you get a lot more stick for the same mistakes/issues than people who follow the conventional route. We home educate, and any time the kids aren’t 100% behaving how other people think they should be? Well, it’s because they don’t go to school. Kid who does go to school acts in the same way? It’s just what kids do. Same goes for lack of editor and commas I find.

    Hang in there, tell people politely (or not!) to mind their own business, and where would I find your stories please?


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