Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 ~ Editor, Please!

It's the first Wednesday of the month:
the day when members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.

To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Erika Beebe,  Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowry.  

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.


Every month the IWSG poses a question
that members can answer with advice, insight,
a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?


Publishing my first book is my writing goal,
so I am looking forward to the advice of IWSG members on publishing pitfalls.

To me the process is filled with unknown hazards,
like crossing a newly crusted flow spewing lava to collect a sample. 

A geologist uses a hammer and a bucket of water
to collect fresh lava for chemical analysis.
Kilauea, Hawaii.

Once the path to publication seemed straightforward,
like scrambling over ancient flows,
uneven and rugged, but stable and solid.
Now the path seems shifting and uncertain
because of the explosion of publishing options. 

In recent years I have read a variety of books
written by family members and friends,
from books published by mainstream publishers,
to self-published digital books on Amazon.
As I consider which path to take to publication,
I have studied these books to see what works and what doesn't.

The big difference I have observed between traditionally published books
and other forms of published books is the quality of the editing.
Often the traditionally published book is better.
A poorly edited book jars me.

I think a good editor can help an author improve his or her manuscript,
not just with the mechanics of spelling, grammar, and punctuation,
but also with the structure, focus, and clarity of the final draft.

Some alternately published books I have read are so disorganized
and full of mistakes that it makes it difficult to get through the book.
In these instances I have persisted only because of
a personal connection with the author.

I think that a poorly written book annoys readers
and discourages them from reading other books by the same author.

When it comes time to publish my manuscript,
I hope to have a traditional publisher; 
but if I don't, I will certainly look for a good editor
before I choose an alternate path to publication.
I have been humbled enough by good editors to know I need one.

Just as I know there are many pitfalls in newly formed lava crusts,
I know I will encounter many pitfalls in publishing as I move forward.
I will be grateful for the advice of those who have traveled before me.

Ancient Lava Flows 
North Mountain Basalt 
Westport, Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 20, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I am still traveling, but I hope to visit around tomorrow.
Happy writing in August!

For map lovers like me:
Location of Brier Island
Westport, Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

Location of Brier Island
Westport, Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

Location of Nova Scotia


  1. Still traveling away at your bay? Geez, those airmiles must be racking up haha Another thing to know though as there are many so-called "good editors" who really aren't. So one must do their due diligence when hiring an editor.

    1. Thanks for your cautionary words about editors, Pat! I plan to be very careful selecting an editor when the time comes. Have a good one!

    2. Sucks no computer is still not had at your pad. But just fyi for when you get it back, the cat gave you a day today at his shack haha

  2. Wow! It looks like a wonderful adventure! My parents lived in Nova Scotia for several years as missionaries. I've never been to Canada but I would like to. Enjoy your travels and yes, I agree. A good editor makes all the difference in the world. Happy IWSG Day :)

    1. Happy IWSG Day back at you, Erika! I hope that you get to visit Canada someday!

  3. Very smart to find an editor if you self publish. No need to kill your career.

    1. Happy IWSG Day, to the guy who started it all! I hope that you are having a great day!

  4. Love your post. YES you need to publish a book when you (and it) are ready.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Teresa! All the best to you today!

  5. Good luck with your publishing goal.

    1. Thank you, Rachna! I hope you had a great IWSG Day! I'm traveling, so I'm a little slow getting around. Take care!

  6. Good luck with your writing adventure. I'm sure you'll do great.

    Nice map. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Hi, Anna! Thanks for the encouragement! I'm glad you enjoyed the maps. I have loved maps since I was a little girl. Happy writing in August!

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  8. An editor makes all the difference. Even an editor who writes can't edit her own stuff.

    And obviously I need an editor for my comments! LOL

    1. LOL! I hope that you had a great IWSG Day! I'm on the road today, so I'll still be catching up tomorrow. Have a good one!

  9. Happy IWSG Day! It's probably true that traditionally published books receive more editing attention, but I've seen traditionally published books that could have used a more competent editor, perhaps, and I've seen self-published books where I could tell the author really went the extra mile to make it as perfect as possible.

    1. Hi, Raimey! I, too, have seen what you described in your comment. I plan to go that extra mile whatever happens. All the best to you. I'll catch up with your post tomorrow. I'm on the road again in ten minutes. All the best to you and happy writing in August!

  10. As you know, I'm not a writer, but I think everything you said was excellent!! I can't wait till your book is out!!! Love the picture of you in Nova Scotia! Big Hugs Louise!!

  11. Safe travels Fundy! I hope to visit Nova Scotia some day. A dream I hold on to...

  12. you are wonderful dear Louise as whatever you have said here is absolutely TRUE!

    and this is the main reason for my hesitation to join any professional writer's community because i know that i have short actually very short time for for reviewing my post even and dropping out there something which is not perfect fears me

  13. Honestly, there are many traditional publishers whose editors are...well, not as epic as you'd hope. I think it boils down to luck and landing with someone who really knows their stuff, but also gets your writing. A great editor with a different vision for your story and do more damage than good.

  14. Hello Fundy,
    I truly hope an editor will fall in love with your manuscript.
    So much time spent sitting and writing in front of your computer would be amply rewarded!
    Enjoy your travels and come back with great pics!
    Warm hugs!!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.