A Love Letter to My Clients

Sophie Playle

Dear writer,

That’s how I’ve decided to address you, because that’s what you are. Sometimes you won’t feel like a writer. Sometimes you’ll feel like a fraud just because you haven’t written for a while, or you’ll not feel good enough or successful enough to call yourself a writer.

But you bravely put your thoughts, your emotions, your most intimate imaginings onto the page and offer them up to others to consume and judge – and for that, I commend you. Sometimes, your words flow like magic; other times, writing becomes immeasurably hard. I understand your burden.

We need writers like you in our lives. We need people to tell us stories that help us make sense of the world, make sense of others, make sense of ourselves. And we need stories that make us feel – anguish, fear, love, joy, excitement – because that’s how we know that we’re alive, through our emotions.

You might touch the heart of ten thousand people with your words, or you might touch the hearts of just a few (one which might well be mine). Either way, your words are of immeasurable value. Please never forget that. And don’t let that thought paralyse you, either, no matter how scary the weight of it sounds. Let it inspire you, free you. Write with your heart, and know that is always enough.

The business of writing is brutally hard. Remember, it’s not immoral to want payment for your hard work or to write for a readership instead of only yourself. Perhaps you weren’t expecting the profession of authorhood to be quite so difficult. But keep in mind that a writing career is composed of more than one or two books. Pick up your pen. Keep going. You can make this work.

If you keep beating a path through the forest, you’ll get to where you want to be. I believe you can do it. And won’t it be worth it? And when you get there, which I’m sure you will, through that determined concentration of blood, sweat and ink, I’ll be there, standing quietly on the periphery, smiling proudly.

With respect,
Your editor

Sophie Playleis a professional fiction editor. She specialises in developmental editing, critiquing and copy-editing, and loves working with authors and publishers who are passionate about high-quality storytelling. Speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction and literary fiction are her genres of choice. She's an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and has a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway, University of London. Find out more: liminalpages.com

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