So. Much. Gratitude.

MichelleJust for Fun, On Reading, On WritingLeave a Comment

There’s a lot to be thankful for when you work as a freelance book editor. Especially when it’s your company. I get to work from home and call the shots, decide where and when and how much I work in between chasing around my 15-month-old, cooking and cleaning and writing my own stuff. “I do what I want” rings true in my household. But that was never the ultimate goal, just a sweet side effect of choosing to do what I love most—and working my butt off to make it happen. My gratitude goes much, much deeper than all of that.

I’m grateful for the authors who come back again and again and again. Kat T. Masen tried me out when I was just getting my feet wet. Four years later, I still get to edit her books, and she’s still rockin’ it with multiple bestsellers and well over 300 positive online reviews. Dr. Christina Tarantola came back this year for her second book, a process that challenged us both and made us so much better. Fantasy author Daniel L. Welch came back too. So did J. Whitney Williams, erotica writer extraordinaire. And Donovan Pruitt, who is anxiously awaiting feedback from prospective agents. Bookseller Paul Combs just reserved a March date for his second novel. Romance author Jacqueline Winters is booked in April for her third. I’m currently at work on Kennedy L Mitchell’s second book—a romantic suspense—which I’m beyond anxious to share with you all.

I’m grateful for the authors who refer me to others. Danielle Soucy Mills gave me Sheri Fink who gave me G. Brian Benson. Jules Dixon gave me Norah Bennett and Jacqueline Winters. Paul Combs gave me Christian Romance author Teresa Tysinger, who has graduated beyond the scope of my help and built a most-impressive author platform. And it’s not just authors who refer to me. Fellow editor Leslie Lutz gave me Patrick Kelly. My S.O. and fellow writer-slash-business owner, Jeremy, gave me Don McMinn. Don and I have been learning together for a couple of years now. The list goes on and on and on. My gratitude swells.

I’m grateful for the authors who inspire me to continue writing. As I watch their commitment, their drive and dedication, their incredible work ethic, I am so moved. And reading provokes my muse. When you consume more than a dozen manuscripts every year, sometimes more than two dozen, some of that is bound to bleed out. When you’re working on a romance and read books from Dixon and Winters and Bennett and Mitchell and Masen, some of that talent and tenacity is absorbed into me. Can you even fathom how grateful I must be for such a thing as that? It’s empowering. Humbling.

More than anything else, I am grateful for those messages that land in my inbox from the most skilled writers. I’ve become very particular about what I choose to read and edit—not only because I can be at this point in my career, but because I know that what we consume will most certainly influence how we think and feel, how we view the world, how our brains are actually wired. Editing has made me a better person, because reading does that, and especially the kind of critical reading that is required of me. I’ve learned how to learn from Don McMinn, how to be more mindful from Ronald D. Eastman, how to incorporate essential oils from Teri Ringham and her son, Adam. I have learned so much.

Most recently, I had the honor of performing the final edit for Christine Crockett Smith, who, after working together for more than a year on various projects, has become a special blend of friend, mentor, and inspiration in my world. Her 18 Master Values, written in a compelling style that blends truth and compassion and logic, will help do what I had already set out to do in 2017: make me better. Help me to be more mindful, present, and patient. Help me to identify what my own values are—and be an example of those values to the world.

To my son, who is always watching.

To Jeremy, whose life is equally affected by who I am as my life is—and who I am is no longer just the “me” inside; it’s the outside me, too. It’s how I am in my family, to the world, for my authors.

With gratitude comes a positive energy from me to the world, along with an intense motivation to keep everything I’m so grateful for. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me. Your work, writing, passion, labor, love, dedication, muse, loyalty, insights, friendships, inspiration…

Thank you.

<3, MJ

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