Posted by: faultlessfinish | June 18, 2012

Intimidation Factor

I love writers. I love working with writers. Am I frequently intimidated and inspired by writers? Yes. I often find myself in awe of writing talent and am reminded of why I love working as an editor (despite the intimidation).

I have had the great honour of working with Susan Toy, a top-notch writer, colleague, and friend. When she asked me to edit her murder mystery, Island in the Clouds, I was more than a bit nervous. What could I possibly offer someone with so much experience and talent? She assured me that everyone needs a fresh set of eyes on their work, and that every writer needs an editor. We ended up thoroughly enjoying working together on the revisions and clarifications.

Susan has already launched Island in the Clouds as an e-book, and the print copies are on their way! In honour of the occasion, Susan is offering free copies of her novel to bloggers, Twitterites, etc. How do you score a free copy? Simply respond to my question at the end of this blog. Everyone who enters a thoughtful response will be entered in the draw. The final day to enter is July 1, 2012.

For more information on the novel, check out the following link: It’s worth a peek!

OK, so the million dollar question(s), and something that I often wonder: What scares you the most about putting your work out there for others to see? Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with the idea of working with an editor?

This week’s goal: Don’t suffer the suffering.

Songs of the week:  “To Just Grow Away” – The Tallest Man on Earth

Namaste 🙂



  1. Ooo good question! I would say that what scares me the most is someone saying ‘You suck!’ or ‘I hate your story!’ but in my limited experience with sharing my work, that hasn’t happened yet. Eventually someone will say that (not everyone can like your work, nor should they), so I guess realizing that it’s inevitable helped me get over the fear of sharing.

    I feel 100% comfortable putting my work in front of an editor, but I’m likely biased because I know that most editors are awesome, nice people like you, Rachel! 🙂

  2. […] to Rachel Small and her blog Freelancing to Freedom and Gwenith Whitford and her blog Ti Dominik Tales for kicking off this […]

  3. As a (so far) unpublished writer, unknown to anyone out there save a few friends and now Susan Toy, I am a bit intimidated by the idea of actually seeing my stories in print for the world to see and critique.

    My biggest fear that I’m facing is the ridiculous typos. Not the easy to miss ones that are in every book you’ll ever read. I mean the ones that stand out and shout “I did not proofread this!” or “I really don’t know proper grammar!” I guess that’s mainly because I challenge the children in my family (up to about age 39) to speak properly and it’s not “me and my friends went…”

    I pray that when the time comes that my friends buy my book and read it, they won’t be able to text message me with comments like “on page 43, paragraph 4, you missed the word [xx].”

    Bravo to Susan with this new book. She has given me so much good advice I really feel confident that I will succeed as a published writer! Thanks, Susan!!

    Peggy Nicholls

    • Thanks for your response, Peggy!

      It can definitely be intimidating putting your work out there, but so worth it in the end! Alas, typos are a fact of life – Susan often emails me right after I post a blog to let me know I missed something. It’s almost impossible to catch everything in your own work.

      Best of luck with your writing endeavors!

  4. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win one of Susan’s books Rachel (and Susan!). I love putting my writing in front of people. I struggle a lot with the question of why am I doing this, when so many other career options could be far more lucrative and ego building. Whenever someone is willing to look at my work and give me their thoughts, good or bad, it makes me feel like maybe writing is the right path for me after all. Even comments that are not over-the-top good often contain a small kernel of something to hang on to. An acquaintance that finished my novel just recently did not praise it excessively, but did say that it stayed with him for a long time. I don’t even know if he liked it, but I will take any feedback I can get. Any reader is a good reader at this point in my writing efforts.

    I do worry of course about typos, stupid plot lines or incorrect word usage. My writing is generally pretty clean from the outset so I am not the greatest proof-reader and there are just some things for which I am not 100 percent clear on the rules. I worry about these issues less with someone actually helping to edit my work because I think it is great that if that person catches these things and that we are working as a team to make the work better. Nothing is better than a thorough editor with eagle eyes. I work with a couple of editors on some of the paid work that I do, and I love them. I can send work out confidently knowing that they will catch every tiny slip (and even better that they seem to love doing so).

    I enjoy your blog Rachel and read it frequently as I too am somewhat of a freelancer.

  5. Thanks so much for reading, Jennifer! I’m glad to hear writing has been such a positive experience for you. I have asked myself the same question before – “Why am I doing this?” Quite simply, so I can do a job I love.

    All the best with your writing!

  6. This is such a great discussion and question (which I’m swooping in on very late). As someone who has always wanted to write and has written a little but not exposed much of it to the air, there are about a million things that terrify me. I have a bad comparison habit. We all know that there are a multitude of very talented writers out there. How can I stand out in that? How can I possibly produce something that someone, especially an editor, won’t find trite, uninspired or devoid of anything redeeming?

    What scares me the most then, is probably the feeling that I have nothing unique to contribute to the written word. I have never sent anything to an editor, and I do plan to at some point, but I definitely fear a “What’s your point?” response, a response I’ve already received once. My fear that nobody will ever truly connect with what I write is a close second. I wouldn’t need everyone to like it, but I would want one person somewhere to say “Yes! Exactly.”

    • Thanks for your insights, Rose!

      I totally understand wanting to compare your work, and I also struggle to not do so. In reality though, every writer has something new to bring to the table because no one will ever think exactly like you.

      And setting out to connect with just one person is a great goal! If I receive just one comment on my blog, I feel it was worth writing.

      Best of luck with your writing!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: