On New Beginnings

Today is my first day as a full-time freelance editor, but I didn’t decide to do this on a whim. Getting here has been a long time in the making.

I started editing as a side gig in 2013, to complement my day job as a publicity assistant at St. Martin’s Press. In the intervening years, I job hopped — working in technology, healthcare, and even entertaining the quarter-life crisis of going to med school — but writing, editing, and interacting with aspiring authors on a personal level are the only things that stuck. These are the only things I would do for pay or for nothing, simply because I love doing them.

This morning, my father gave me the following advice:

“Always remember to focus on your goal, not the issues of the day. If you can do that, any challenges become the stepping stones to your success.”

Growing a business, like writing a novel, is a marathon, not a sprint. If we focus on the minutiae du jour, we’ll never make it across the finish line.

So, on days when you don’t feel like writing, do it anyway. On days when you have no idea what your characters should do next, go for a walk or take a shower. Or watch bad television. The idea will come.

Do not chain yourself to your desk. Do not let “The Work” consume your life. Instead, live your life, pursue interests that mystify and terrify you, and let the resulting vibrancies flow onto the page.

I’ll do my best to do the same.

With gratitude and best wishes,

(You can see some of the more practical steps I took to get where I am today — wearing a T-shirt and shorts, drinking water out of a Gryffindor pint glass at my home desk — by reading this LearnVest article.)

Jessica HatchComment