February 3rd, 2012

Beginnings are hard. Whether it’s a book, an article, or a blog, it’s hard to decide on that perfect introduction. That attention-grabbing first sentence. It’s all too easy to give in to the intimidation of the blank page and hesitate, thinking that it will all go so much better if you just wait for inspiration to strike: once you have that perfect start, it’ll be smooth sailing.

But the truth is, if you wait until you’ve got it right, you’re likely to be waiting forever. And since, as they say, it’s easier to steer a moving car, the best way to write well is to start out by just writing. It’s easier to work with a rough draft than with nothing at all—and as often as not, just getting going is the hardest part. And if it’s true in other areas, it’s likely to prove true in blogs as well!

My mother (who is a writer) likes to say that the only reason I became an editor is so that I could tell her what to do. But, of course, there’s more to it than that.


I’ve loved reading almost as long as I can remember. Since I was little, I’ve read voraciously—stories, especially, but hardly exclusively. When books were forbidden at the table, the backs of cereal boxes or ketchup bottles would do.

It certainly contributed a lot to my education, especially since, as I grew up, my parents were careful to direct me toward good, worthwhile books and made sure all that time I had my nose stuck in a book was well spent. It wasn’t until my sister took an interest in fiction writing that it occurred to me that all that passion for the written word might have further uses. As she asked for my help with correcting her mistakes before she showed her work to anyone else, or wanted ideas on how to improve her stories or work out tricky plot problems, I discovered that I really enjoyed the editing side of the process, far more than I’d ever liked actually writing.

Things snowballed from there, and I was actually working as an editor (for friends, relatives, and relatives of friends) for some time before I put a name to it and started to seriously consider doing it professionally. The more I worked with writers, the more I wanted to read and study so that I could do it better. I asked for advice from an acquaintance who’d worked as an editor, and he gave me some tips for starting out, along with a list of still more books I should read.

I’ve been working professionally as an editor for about seven or eight years now. In addition to a working on wide variety of freelance projects during that time, I’m now entering my sixth year of editing for TEACH (now Eternal Encouragement) magazine.

I’ve come to realize that, while I love all the ins and outs of grammar and words themselves, what I love most is working one-on-one with writers—helping them improve their current work, but also encouraging, and urging them on to become the best writers that they can be.

So that’s how I got here! Or at least part of it. I don’t expect this blog to be particularly profound most days, but I hope you’ll find something here to inform, entertain, and maybe even help you as you go about the writing process.