Why I Use an Editor

a post about using an editor written by Pixie Heart

Please welcome Pixie Heart to the Smutlancer blog today as our contributing writer! I know her as a kinkster, friend, and now fellow sex-blogger. We can also use help in our writing lives and we all have ways we can improve. Today, Pixie discusses the importance of a good editor and friend.

I have struggled with the English language all my life, having grown up in a household that spoke a mix of Irish Gaelic and Russian. I’m also very dyslexic, but I try not let it hold me back and have worked super hard to learn how to live with it. In my proper day job, I blog and write articles, and I also write course content for the field I work in. But everything I write goes through an in-house proof reading and editing service, and I never really worry about it or give it to much thought to it.

But in my kinky blogging and writing world all editing has been down to me. To be frank, my spelling, grammar and punctuation are shockingly bad and started to give me anxiety, to the point of it stopping me from posting or submitting work. So, when the call for submissions for the Eroticon anthology came, I wrote a story and then read it back. Then the nasty little voice of self-doubt crept to say, “Nah, you can’t send that, best not try, you’re useless, you silly girl.” So that is what I did, left it to sit and gather dust.

Asking for Help

Living and sharing my life with four people, nothing really stays private if you leave it laying around. The family switch, Babe, found my story on my desk, read it, and came to find me. She told me she loved my story and that all it needed was a little work. Then came the light bulb moment: Why not ask Sir Beasty if he would take a look at it? I was like, “Why the fuck did I not think of that?” Sir Beasty, Aedan O’Healy, is an amazing writer, more of a wordsmith, but he is also someone I trust. So I sent him a very rambling email asking for help and advice.

Being a rather spiffing dude, he said he would help. But on three conditions:

  1. I promise not to take any criticisms personally.
  2. I listen to what he had to say.
  3. And I stop saying I was crap and stupid.

After I agreed to his terms and conditions, I sent over my story and then for the first time that week I got a good night’s sleep (well as good as you get with two tiny babies). I guess knowing my work was being edited took a massive amount of pressure off that I had put myself under for no reason other than being too pig-headed to ask for help.

Much Needed Feedback

A few days passed without a word. (He goes dark and quiet sometimes). But just as I was starting to get anxious I woke up to an email that kind of changed my outlook on my writing and blew me away a little. (That’s Pixie code for: I cried my eyes out.)

My story had not only been edited, but Aedan had written a list of comments in a ‘the good, the bad. and the ugly’ sort of style. What we in my line of work would call a shit sandwich, meaning anything negative was sandwiched between 2 positives.

He had checked my spelling (He said it had improved). My grammar and punctuation were corrected (and I was told it ‘Needs work’) and my sentence structure was sharped up (‘pretty good’). He even tweaked the layout of my piece, so it looked more professional.

I also had a list of rewrites to do, but instead of just being told to ‘change this’, I got ‘I think we could work on this’ or ‘do think this would sound better this way.’ Making the rewrites was super easy, and dare I say this, even fun and challenging.

I had the extra bonus of being able to message Aedan whenever I needed help or whenever the self-doubting crept back in to my head. He gave me some ace tips and tricks for self-editing. I also got one of my favorite rewards: verbal praise, because I’m the type of girl who works a 100% harder if I get told I’m doing a good job. Although we also seem to have added the phrase: ‘TURN YOUR SPELL CHECK ON’ to our friendly insults, along with ‘Doris’ and ‘Git’ and ‘you big Irish knob.’

Added Confidence

When it was finished to the point that we were super proud of it, I emailed the story off with a squeak of joy and a sense of excitement that I have never felt submitting any of my work before.

But all of this has had a huge effect on my writing. It has increased my confidence 100-fold, given me back my faith in my ability as a writer, and given me a renewed sense of pride in my craft. I’m working with deadlines, setting word limits, and working on my grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Hell, I have even started turn the sodding spell check on (so Sir Beasty doesn’t get a big head)!

If like me you really struggle with your writing or with editing, then find yourself a good editor. They are worth their weight in gold.

About Pixie Heart

Happily married, submissive housewife by day. Bi-sexual, Poly, Masochist, princess by night.  Writer of kink and smut, Lover of unicorns and all things sparkly. Sex and Body Posterities, Mental health advocate and DV savior.

About Aedan O’Healy

A true Irish gentleman writer. Crime fighter, kinky super-hero geek by day. Lover, fighter, dominant knight in shining armor by night. A strong heart and mind, empathy by the bucket-load and looks good in a kilt to boot.

Have something to share about writing or creating content about sex? Write for the Smutlancer!

About The Author

Pixie Heart

Happily married, submissive housewife by day. Bi-sexual, Poly, Masochist, princess by night.  Writer of kink and smut, Lover of unicorns and all things sparkly. Sex and Body Posterities, Mental health advocate and DV savior.

2 Comments

  • Marie Rebelle

    Reply Reply February 21, 2018

    This is great advice, especially (but not only) for writers who are just starting out 🙂

    Rebel xox

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