How to approach this course

Before we begin, there are a few things it might be helpful for you to keep in mind as we proceed.

First, read carefully. Part of the editing process, especially once you start working with an editor, is absorbing what your editor, critique partner or beta reader is suggesting, but it's also an important part of self-editing to not rush through it. Many of you will be tempted to skim through the lessons, edits, etc., to get to the mini-lessons, skipping important information.

In my experience, about 75% of the time, I get back edits or other documents (or submissions!) that have parts that have been missed, or instructions that have been skipped. Don't be in a hurry. Rushing the editing process, both in self-edits and with an editor only results in a less refined product. Slow down and absorb, re-read and do a thorough job. Deliver the best possible product to your readers by not trying to cut corners and rush the process!

Second, some of you are coming into this course believing either that there's nothing you can possibly learn from it or that you're going to disagree with me about certain things (or both). Starting out with this in mind will make it harder for you to benefit from the full scope of the course, but regardless of how you start out, there will be things you'll find yourself learning. It's just easier if you start with the belief that an author always has room to grow his/her craft, both in the larger scope and in the smaller details. It's exactly the same for an editor, and I learn something from the workshop participants every course!

And it's totally okay to disagree with me. Maybe you have firm beliefs about adverbs or commas or passive voice. I'm not going to argue you out of those! Writing is perfectly subjective, even in the times when people think something should be a "rule". Not only that, if we all wrote exactly the same, publishing would be a boring place. Plus, there's no one authority on how writing works (including me), there's only advice that you can take or leave as it works for you.

Last, it's hard to realize how time intensive this course can be, and there may be times you get behind or feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information. I've changed up the format of the course to help out with that, so you have longer to read along, do the lessons and ask questions. And you always have access to me on Slack (please just don't expect me to be available 24/7 but give me time to answer!)

Welcome to Before You Hit Send!!