I appreciate that you love your family and want to help them out in these hard times. But remember, they are hard times and I’m not even a professional writer, much less gainfully employed. I work in the public sector, part-time. I barely make enough to live on, much less pay someone to read and edit my writing.
So, I’m sorry to say, I will not be employing your, also non-professional, editor sister/brother/mother/cousin/uncle/etc/etc. It’s great that they have an English/Journalism/Creative Writing/Etc Degree (or in some cases only working on them). But I also have a BA in English and a Masters in Library and Information Science. I read, write, and breathe books daily.
I also have a great group of writerly friends, thanks to NaNoWriMo, who are eager to read and critique my work in return for the same favor from me. No money will change hands here. Instead, we will be meeting twice a month to critique various group members work and twice a month to just hang out and write together.
If I am ever going to pay someone to read and edit my writing, I will be sure they come well vetted. No offense to your wonderful family member, but I want to make sure that I’m actually going to get what I’m meaning to pay for, rather than paying blindly for something that could be nothing close to what I need. I know it can be a vicious cycle, it’s hard to break into the business without credits but you also can’t expect to get paid with out any either. Sometimes people just have to start at the bottom and work their way up.
But all that aside, let me be completely honest, the only time I would pay someone to edit my work would be if I was going to go into self-publishing. And that’s not the direction I’m trying to head. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll want to stake out on my own, but I want to start first with traditional publishing. Anyone can self-publish, but not everyone can get a book deal.
So, please, don’t ask me every time you see me if I’ve got any work for your dearest loved one. Because I don’t and I probably never will. I wish I could say I was sorry, but I’m not. Instead I find that you are putting me in a horribly awkward position in which you are asking me to pay someone who isn’t a professional in my journey to enter the world of professional writing.
You wouldn’t pay the brother of your friend/acquaintance who has never even looked under the hood of a car, but only read picture-less books about fixing them, to fix you’re only mode of transportation to work, would you? Your loved one might read books everyday, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be any good at editing them. You see, I’d rather have someone, who looks at books with a critical eye because that’s also what they want to do, critique my work for doing the same thing for them than pay someone who only reads for pleasure outside of school.
Your writerly friend/acquaintance, Emmie.