Jon Peirce
Customized Writing Services
Jon Peirce
"Edit a writer's book, she succeeds once; teach a writer how to edit, he learns how to succeed for the rest of his career."

I'll be the first to admit, it sounds a bit counterintuitive for someone setting up as a writing consultant to say he'd rather do almost anything else than edit. I mean, editing is what writing consultants do-isn't it?

Well, yes and no. It's true that most people calling on writing consultants for help say they're looking for an editor-probably because editors are the only type of writing consultants they've heard of, and the only type publicly listed (as in the Yellow Pages).

But the odds are quite good that an editor, at least one of the traditional sort, is not going to be the person best suited to helping the writer address his or her writing problem.

Often, if the writer has completed a book-length manuscript, what he or she needs most is a big-picture evaluation that points to major strengths and weaknesses, and lets him or her know how close the manuscript is to being ready to send to a publisher. If the manuscript is still in the planning stage or is only partially complete, a look at the basic concept can be very helpful-and may save many hours of needless work down the road. Others can benefit from learning what sort of writing process works best for them, or from specialized work on such things as writing with numbers, or understanding the ways in which the language is changing. Still others may have very specific questions about usage, organization, or sentence structure-questions that don't require a reading of the complete manuscript to answer.

I offer both individual mentoring and group workshops in these and many other writing-related areas. As you'll see elsewhere on the site, I also give you the opportunity to design your own writing course and have me teach it. And even if your book does need a good edit, there are alternatives to paying someone else a hefty fee to do the job. You can, for instance, take one of my editing workshops (listed elsewhere on this site). There, alongside other aspiring writers, you can learn a simple editing process that makes editing your own work far less painful than you ever thought it could be. Or you can have me edit one or two chapters of your work, and then go back to the manuscript yourself and apply what you've learned from me to do the rest of the job.

Bottom line is, I'd much rather teach you how to organize and edit your own work than do the job myself. It's more rewarding for me, and much less costly for you. Moreover, at the end of it all, you will come out a better and more experienced writer, able to handle a broader range of writing challenges and situations.