I’ve never been much of a joiner, but after a couple of false starts, I’m now a committed member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild.

At first I couldn’t see how mingling with “the competition” would do me any good, but I’ve finally pushed past that blinkered thinking (one of my favorite kinds of thinking, by the way).

Attending a particular meeting a few months back turned me around. The group meets every other month or so, the meetings usually built around a speaker or panel discussion. I’ve always enjoyed those events, but this one—a roundtable session—forced me out of my protective casing and made me interact with people. More than that, it made it easy for interesting folks to talk to (or at least near) me.

I spent one 20-minute session at a table of fellow fiction editors, and another with writing coaches (well, one established writing coach, and a few would-be coaches). Very nice, friendly folks all, and I came away with some immediately helpful information, from the benefits of using the Send to Kindle app to convert Word files so they’re readable on my iPad (instead of the clunky, time-consuming EPUB converter I had been using), to how that writing coach structures and approaches her projects and practice.

It also became clear how many of the group’s members routinely help each other other out, referring prospective clients to each other when they’re swamped or when the clients would benefit from another editor’s expertise. By the end of the night, I was a convert.

If you’re surfing my site in search of an editor, I of course hope you’ll get in touch with me. But I also urge you to have a look at the Guild’s listings of other editors. You’ll come away better informed about your options.