The editing and writing coaching parts of my freelance business have been expanding of late, which makes me happy -- it's good for the budget, of course, but it's also work I love and it brings me into relationships with such interesting and hard-working writers, all of whom (at least so far) are people I happen to like as well. I also love the variety of the material; lately I've worked on memoir, comic fiction, a coffee-table photography book, and even a dissertation.
Last month, one of the writers I worked with won a regional personal essay contest. The sound of her voice on the telephone -- after she returned from the award luncheon where she read her work to an audience for the first time -- was indescribably satisfying.
Last night I emailed a new client a summary of developmental editing comments for a chapter of her memoir-in-progress. When I opened my inbox this morning, I found this from her: "Wow! Best money I ever spent."
I don't think I can improve on that, so I won't even try, except to say that what was wonderful was not only did she feel her money had been well spent, but that I had delivered something of value to a fellow writer, something which may move her toward a richer, more nuanced next draft.
Getting confirmation that I have something to contribute matters, and on days when my own writing is not going so well, on days when the rest of life seems to usurp all my creative energy and figuring out how to slice up the freelance pie seems impossible, I can think about that happy client email. I've already printed it out and posted it just above the computer.
Now, end of self-promotion blather, and back to work, because it's still a Monday...