The joys of editing—and getting thanked for it


When I write private projects, I have editing colleagues check it over. It’s amazing how much they find. It’s true: everybody needs a good editor. Even editors do.

Full disclosure: this post is essentially an ad for my substantive editing services. You’ve been warned. 🙂 But, you know, read it anyway; you never know when you’re going to need a good editor.

Okay, here goes.

I’m not one of those guys who gets all self-effacing when I’m praised. You will never hear me say, “I’m so humbled to be included in this list of nominees”

I love being nominated for and winning prizes.

And, when the authors whose work I edit thank me, I feel both relieved and celebratory. After all, editing somebody’s book is a very intimate thing to do. And it’s a big deal.

So, when I work on a new manuscript by Pam Withers, who has written 15 best-selling novels, and she says that I’m the finest editor she’s encountered, my response is a combination of “Phew!” and “Yahoo!”

When I’ve sweated bullets over Waiting for the Cyclone, a collection of short stories written by the talented emerging writer Leesa Dean and she thanks me for my “detailed, insightful feedback” and enthusiastically applies my suggestions, I do a little jig.

And when Sue Bedford, whose new memoir will soon be released by Brindle and Glass, writes, “Thank you SO FUCKING MUCH for all your extremely detailed notes”, I laugh out loud.

So hooray for all of their talent! And thanks to all of them for their praise. I’m grateful for it partly because, like anybody else involved in a creative process, I sometimes feel uncertain. But, when the praise comes, I enjoy it. I roll around in it. I love it.

So, if you’re ever looking for a substantive editor—which is a fancy way of saying story editor—hire me, and we can roll around in joy together.

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.


  1. Someday, Colin, I will finally get my shit together enough to need a story editor, and you will be the first person I call.

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