Yes, friends! You read that correctly. New career. As if I didn’t have enough going on in my life!
Leaving the professional world far behind a few years ago to move south and raise a family was the best decision for me, my five kids, my husband, and my elderly mom. They needed me. I needed them. The kids weren’t getting younger and neither was my mom.
However, if I claimed the domestic life was pure bliss…well, you would all know I was lying. Seriously, I don’t like cleaning, cooking, gardening, and do not get me started about my feelings on mountains of laundry. I am NOT a domestic diva by any stretch of the imagination. I tried and it just didn’t take. Not saying my house is a pig sty or my children are running around in stinky clothes. They most certainly are not. All that stuff gets done, but for me at least it does not make for a full, satisfying life. I needed more.
Tried the school volunteering thing. I swear that I will be happy if I never step foot in another pumpkin patch again. Once the kids hit middle school, I vowed those days were over. Ha! Got suckered into the 7th grade field trip to a college three hours away just after I wrote that line. (UPDATE: Field trip reaffirmed that decision that “Just Say No” was the correct one.)
Did the sports’ team mom thing, too. With five kids, that became darn near impossible. Pee wee football team mom (okay, assistant team mom) was quite enough. Became the First Aid mom for the year-round travel baseball team up until that son finally said he was ready to try football. Oh no! Here we go again! Even when the hubby took on coaching responsibilities for the middle school wrestling team, I held up my hand and said “Absolutely NOT! Find another mom! I will NOT be the team mom!” Thankfully another wonderful lady stepped in, but being the coach’s wife comes with its own headaches.
All that kept me super busy, but still didn’t fit the bill. I needed something more. So what did I do? Went back to my first love of writing “in my spare time.” Started out ghostwriting.
Worked my way up from marketing blurbs and website articles to cozy mystery and romance novels. Wonderful learning experience, but the need to see my own name on a manuscript took hold of my heart.
So I turned on my PC and typed out the first book in what I dreamed would be an urban fantasy series. That was the first in a zillion versions of that book. Seriously, the revisions were so numerous that I had to finally delete some versions to make room in my PC’s storage. Finally, I sent it to a professional editor who chopped it up some more (breaking my heart) and then commenced another series of revisions.
Thought I was good to go, so I decided to get others’ opinions by subscribing to a fantastic website of authors helping authors. Scribophile. If you’re an author, or want to be one, do yourself a favor and get on this website NOW. If I’d joined earlier, perhaps I could’ve avoided about 50 revisions before sending to the professional editor.
Several years after starting the process, my first book is set to be published (no date yet as I am finalizing the book cover and some other odds and ends). Every author has their own style, their own pace. With me, my time is limited so years was what worked for me. However, I don’t recommend it. That story banged against my noggin all that time, day in and day out, every day.
My lessons learned?
- Scribophile would’ve sped up the process as I wouldn’t have wasted so much time revising on my own without opinions from others in the business.
- A professional editor is a must-have.
As for #2 above, I fancied myself a fantastic editor. After all, I can catch spelling and grammar errors better than a DNA test can answer “Who’s your daddy?” Seriously. Spelling and grammar drive me crazy because I constantly find mistakes in everything I read. I send marked up emails back to the principal and teachers of the schools here when I find mistakes (which is in everything they send out – DO NOT get me started on how that makes me crazy). I corrected the high school yearbook last year because it was just awful. I correct newspaper articles. I once sent back legal documents with corrections marked up in bright red ink.
What does that tell me? I’m a born editor. With all the critiques given and received on Scribophile, I am much better at catching other writing issues now.
Too bad, I couldn’t see the flaws in my own 77K word manuscript. It needed another pair of eyes on it. It’s occupational hazard for writers. Our eyes naturally skip over what can be simply typos because our brain fills in what we know should be there.
Now why am I telling you all of this? Because I found my calling…editing. I will still write when time permits. But I am a kick ass editor naturally. In addition, I beefed up my editing skills by obtaining a certification in editing from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Whereas, I may still need someone else to proof my own writing before clicking the “publish” button on Amazon, I can be that set of eyes for you.
Please feel free to contact me regarding any editing services you may need.
I can be found on Facebook at KC Freeman https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015282787131
Twitter @KCFreeman5 (https://twitter.com/KCFreeman5)