How I Work

I believe in the work and its author.

My job as an editor and writing coach is to let you do the writing. Then, I help you take the next steps toward realizing your work’s potential. I listen to you with care and attention. As your first reader, I experience your writing as its intended audience will. I give educated feedback, sharing insights, ideas, and emotional responses. I never take creative control. I’m here to help you get the details right. Then, I get out of the way.

From 2005 to 2017, I was the associate editor of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine. I came to the work as a writer and learned how to edit on the job, by trial and error. Some of my writers would tell you the red ink in my pen is pressed from drops of their blood. Over time, though, I like to think I learned to respect the line between editing and rewriting. I also learned how to be gentle while still calling for changes (and explaining why).

Being a good editor is as much about taking care of people as it is about following rules or enforcing style guides. Through professional organizations such as the American Copy Editors Society, many generous practitioners of this craft have talked with me about how they do what they do. Now, I try to model their focus, presence, and good humor with my clients.