Today I’m speaking with Christi McGuire (www.ChristiMcGuire.com), from Creative Consulting. An editor-by-accident, she’s your girl for book proposals. Here’s her story:
When did you start writing/editing professionally?
I began as a copyeditor in the magazine department at LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, TN.
Why did you want to be a freelance writer/editor?
I kind of fell into it. I started teaching English out of college, and after a couple years I applied for a copyediting job at LifeWay. I was so green—they took a big chance on me! I discovered that editing in the publishing industry was my true calling. When we moved from Tennessee to Florida, I began working as a freelancer. My experience at Lifeway helped me be able to do that.
What’s your specialty/focus?
Although I’ve written and edited magazines, devotionals, curriculum, and children’s books, my specialty is editing nonfiction adult books and book proposals.
What’s your favorite part of this kind of work?
Partnering with people to help them achieve their writing and publishing dreams.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Working with writers who have no knowledge or experience with the craft of writing and the publishing industry. Most authors dig in to learn everything they can about writing and publishing. But there are some who do not want to improve or learn; they just want me to “fix” their manuscripts. My heart is that of a teacher, so it’s hard for me to edit without teaching and guiding all my clients.
What’s surprised you the most during your career?
How much of a “mother hen” I am! I am very protective as if they were my own kids. When I receive copies of clients’ published books, I am brought to tears. I am so proud of them, and I think I am more excited for them than I would be if it were my own book!
If you could give a new freelance writer/editor one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t stop learning! Always continue pursuing experience, knowledge, and new information.
If you could do one thing differently in your career, what would it be?
Have more confidence in my skills at an earlier age and realize my time and talent are valuable. But I guess we all go through a maturing process!
What’s your favorite kind of work? Why?
I love to work on book proposals. There’s something exciting about it, and it gets my adrenaline pumping. It’s all the author’s hopes and dream boiled into one business plan. It’s exciting and scary (for the author) all at the same time. And I’m blessed to be a part of that!
What does your work space/office look like?
Both my husband and I work at home, and our desks are back-to-back. Sometimes we bump into each other! He likes to listen to music or talk radio when he’s working, and I must have it quiet. So I often take my laptop and head to my bedroom to work!
What is your go-to snack when working?
Coffee and protein bars.
If you could only recommend one editing resource, what would it be? Why?
I have Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors by Kathy Ide with me at all times. It lists the most-used CMOS rules, and it’s easier to find what I need instead of searching the huge print edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
If you could only recommend one writing resource, what would it be? Why?
I’ve just started reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. She addresses the creative process, how to pursue a creative life, and how to understand the creative mind. It doesn’t specifically address writing, but authors do lead a creative life, so this book is helping me understand how we (the creative types) can balance our creativity and pursue our passions.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think everyone struggles with doubt, fear, and validation. But I know that I can’t not do what I do—live the creative life as an editor and writer. When you know that your life’s work is something you can’t not do . . . then you know you’re doing the right thing!
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!
Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂