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The Daily Writer with Kent Sanders

Hello, listeners of the Smart Business Writing podcast! Thanks so much for listening, and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Nov 22, 2018

Someone once said that it takes a village to raise a child. If it’s also true that it takes a village to write a book, one of the most important villagers is the editor. 

On today’s episode, I talk with a good friend who also happens to be a great editor. He helps us understand how why editors are such an important part of the book-making process, and how to choose the right editor for your next book project.

Blake Atwood is an editor, author, and ghostwriter who helps writers tell better stories, choose the right path to publication, and how to best market their words. He is also an instructor for Writing Workshops Dallas, which offers wide-ranging seminars and courses for writers of all kinds by a host of excellent teachers. Many of those are available via live stream.

On this episode, you’ll learn about the different types of editing and why each one is important for your book. Blake also shares how to find the right editor, and how to know when it’s time to let go of your book and move on. In addition, Blake turns the tables on me by digging into the reasons I haven’t finished my own book yet!

One of the most fascinating parts of this conversation is Blake’s story of how he brought his late uncle’s novel to life. This episode is packed with great stories and nuggets of wisdom from Blake! 

Blake has generously offered Born to Create podcast listeners a 10% discount on his editing services if you book him before the end of the year. Make sure to get in touch with him if you need an editor for a current or upcoming book.

Show Highlights

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How The Chronicles of Narnia, and a specific teacher, inspired Blake to become a writer.
  • What Blake loves about editing, and how it fulfills him creatively.
  • Different types of editing you will encounter in the publishing process, and why each is important.
  • Blake’s advice for correcting some of the most common mistakes writers make.
  • Blake’s process for finding the right type of editor.
  • How Blake was discovered by Sean McCabe, which led to his work on James Clear’s new book Atomic Habits.
  • How to know when a book is finished and move on to the next project.
  • How Blake finished his uncle’s novel after his uncle passed away. 
  • Habits that have helped Blake be more successful.

Key Takeaways

1. Editors are a key part of the creative writing process. Editors perform a similar function to a record producer. Their job is to take the raw elements and make something beautiful from it. A good editor is not just a hired gun or a cleanup person (although it can certainly involve cleaning up errors and mistakes). Rather, they are collaborators who can make a good book great. 

2. There are three distinct stages in editing. They move from the macro to the micro. First is developmental editing, which is concerned with taking a big picture look at the overall book and its story and/or structure. Second is copyediting, which is concerned with grammar, spelling, and line-by-line corrections. Third is proofreading, which is checking for errors after the book has been formatted for print and digital, since errors can happen in that process. It’s important to understand the different types of editing and what to expect when working with editors.

3. Habits can make or break your success. One theme that you will hear often on this podcast is the importance of good habits. Blake shared how he developed a habit of getting up at 5 a.m., and this habit has served him well. He also talked about getting out of his introvert comfort zone by teaching and public speaking, reading 50 pages a day, and quitting books that don’t hold his interest.-


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Looking for Christmas gift ideas? My book The Artist’s Suitcase: 26 Essentials for the Creative Journey is the perfect gift for the artist or creative person in your life (or even yourself!)

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