Currently, I only offer editing services for fiction and nonfiction, but not poetry.
It’s not because I don’t like poetry – I love poetry! But this is a recent development for me.
I have primarily been a prose writer ever since I was a kid. I could always easily write stories, novels, or essays, but never poems. Anytime I tried to write one, it came out as a cliched rhyming, amateur block of words that made me cringe. The same went for songwriting; though I am a piano player and like to sing for fun, putting the two together to create my own original songs was even more cringey than any poems I attempted to write.
Simply put, poetry was a complete mystery to me. I didn’t know how poets did it. I didn’t know where to even start with a poem or what constituted a ‘good’ poem. I didn’t know what to write about with them and couldn’t understand most of them, so I never read poetry either.
Any attempt I made to write a poem seemed like I was trying too hard. A big problem was that I was relying on my prose plotting skills to plot out the poem, to make it be something it’s not. I knew it wasn’t quite right, but that was the only way I knew how to write anything. I didn’t truly understand the difference between crafting a poem and crafting a prose piece.
Not until 2020 at least.
2020 was the year I was forced to face my writer’s block head on and I spent several months figuring out how to overcome it. In the process, I unraveled the mystery of poetry and finally started writing poems that I didn’t hate! I also began reading poetry and finding poets that I liked and drew from their work for inspiration. It all just clicked and I finally ‘got it,’ but it took a lot of going inward and a new way of thinking.
Now I write poems that I actually feel comfortable with enough to send to my own editor, and I’ve also started writing songs. Those will probably not see the light of day though! But just knowing I can do it and actually like what I create is very satisfying.
Because my grasp on poetry is so fresh, I do not feel experienced or knowledgeable enough yet to confidently edit a poem. I hope to offer it as a service one day, but in the meantime, I am happy to refer people to Chelsea Comeau, my own poetry editor. She is an experienced and published poet, super friendly to work with and has great instincts when it comes to strengthening a poem.
I highly recommend Chelsea if you’re looking for a solid poetry editor.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a prose editor, send me an email! Or book a free consultation.