Gone freelancin’

Gone freelancin’

I’m launching my freelance editorial business, and I specialize in working with artists and environmentalists. I offer supportive guidance to writers at every stage of the publishing process. More on my services below. But first, a story about how I got here.

When I was finishing my master’s in English literature, I went to my prof for advice.

“A lot of my friends are applying to do their PhD,” I said, “but I can’t bear any more school right now. I don’t know what to do next.”

“Why not go into publishing?” said Dr. Chapman. She had worked in New York publishing before joining academia.

I remember the stacks of books in her office and the low light of her desk lamp as the puzzle pieces slid together: my interest in book history, volunteering to edit the undergrad literary journal, the part-time job I had coaching students on improving their writing.

But I also knew I needed a break. So before I went back to school to study publishing, I took a year off to work in a cafe on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver.

I’d start at 5 am and open the cafe at 6 am. I loved that quiet time as the city woke up, bike commuters whizzed past, and the sky lightened. I relished sliding muffin tins of batter into the oven, brewing fresh urns of coffee, carrying out milk jugs, and finally *click* unlocking the side door to welcome in the early shift lined up outside.

Our cafe was across the street from a Canada Post depot, and the same ten letter carriers would come in each morning.

“Medium dark roast.”

“Large mocha.”

“Berry juice and zucchini muffin.”

Gradually, I memorized the postal workers’ orders and would have the cups lined up on the counter when they entered. I was rewarded with tips, but I also realized how much I love nurturing others in this simple way.

It behooves us all to be kind to each other in the early hours, when we’re feeling soft and vulnerable. When you’re a writer, it can always feel like dawn—your eyes smarting, a sense of possibility in the air, wondering if you can pull it off again today.

I did go off to publishing school, and then to a career as a book editor. Over fifteen years in house, I often recalled that early lesson from the cafe. And I built on my ability to nurture relationships by training and moonlighting as a restorative yoga teacher.

I’m launching my freelance editorial business, and I specialize in working with artists and environmentalists. I offer supportive guidance to writers at every stage of the publishing process.

If you need a…

  • developmental editor to shape your book idea
  • writing coach while you churn out your manuscript
  • substantive editor to polish your manuscript

I can help. Please reach out…I’d love to hear about your project.

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