Eighteen-year-old Amanda Edens didn’t really know what she was doing as a first-generation college student, so she took out a bunch of loans and rode a Greyhound across the country to study Creative Writing. During the course of getting her degree, she decided she wasn’t a writer; she enjoyed the peer reviews, workshopping, and discussion far more.
Since graduating, Amanda has built a successful career in editing: both for her fiction clients and during her day job in content marketing.
She has trained over 400 freelance writers, edited more than 50,000 pieces of web copy, and has been guiding fiction writers since 2013. One of her employers even promoted her to “edit the editors.” With the rapid growth of her fiction business, she expects creative editing to be her primary income source within the next couple years.
She is also launching a podcast “Ask Your Editor” with a close friend in the writing community by the beginning of the year.
Can you tell us a bit of your background, and how it helped to create the person you are today?
I received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Lycoming College, a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. My writing professor was more like a drill instructor than a mentor, at least in my undergrad years, and it was probably the best experience I could’ve had at that age. I was also far, far away from home (I’m from Nevada),
I also met my husband in college; in fact, we went back to campus this June to get married in the campus chapel!
After I graduated, I worked as an editor in the marketing industry and interned at a small indie publishing house.
You’d be surprised how much marketing is like writing. In college, I learned to develop character, tell stories, communicate effectively, and connect ideas. In marketing, you have to develop target buyer profiles (character), tell stories, communicate effectively, and connect ideas.
Without my extensive marketing background, I wouldn’t have been able to grow and develop my editing business, which has more than doubled this past year alone.
So, you have a podcast coming up. Exciting! Can you tell us what you’ll be discussing?
Yes! My cohost Abby Rotstein and I have built out a huge list of podcast episode ideas, and the majority of them revolve around writing concepts and the writing life.
Abby is a stand-up comic, mental health advocate, and creative writer who used to teach at one of the colleges here in Nevada. She covers the writer’s perspective while I approach each topic from an editor’s standpoint, which opens up some interesting discourse and makes us a pretty good team.
Do you have a scheduled launch date for the podcast?
At the moment, we’re recording our first episodes, and we’re giving ourselves some lead time for editing the video footage and sound, marketing the podcast, and getting the word out. With podcasting, the initial launch is the most crucial time, so we’re focused on making our first episodes home runs. We hope to officially launch in January.
How many books would you say you read, on average, each month?
I don’t read for fun as often as I used to since it’s now my job. I usually fit 2-3 books in a month as a professional editor. Sometimes it’s less if I’m working on the developmental side (which takes longer than a simple proofread).
Are they mostly non-fiction or fiction?
They’re almost all fiction, but I do get requests for personal development books quite frequently also.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Life is all conjunctions, one damn thing after another, cows and chewing gum and mountains; art—the best, most important art—is all about subordination: guilt because of sin because of pain.”
This is a quote by John Gardner in his book On Moral Fiction.
If you could give advice to all new writers, what would you say?
Every sentence and every paragraph has a job to do. If it doesn’t move the story forward, develop the character, or set the scene, it’s probably not necessary. The reader doesn’t need to know everything; they just need to know the things they need to know.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, actually. I just wanted to say that The Write Point is an amazing community, and I love everyone I’ve spoken to on the platform.
Don’t be shy; say hello to me.
Thank you so much, Amanda!! I can’t wait to listen in on your Podcasts.
Friend her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amanda.edens.editor
Follow the podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/askyoureditor
Editor website: amandaedens.com
Podcast website: askyoureditor.com