Networking is vital to a writer. It's not only what you know but who you know. Who you know and what you know determine what you publish.
There are many opinions on whether or not to hire a professional editor. It's not my desire to debate the in's and out's of either choice. Editing is a necessary "evil". The method that you, as a writer, choose to accomplish that is your choice.
I've found that bartering with others can help defray editing costs somewhat. There are many accomplished professional or polished amateurs in writing groups. I suppose someday I will be wealthy enough from my published work to hire a professional editor, but maybe at that point I won't need one anymore. Of course, my perfectionist brain excels at being critical of my work so much that it often impedes the creative process enough to prevent the completion of the final product at a good speed. On the other hand, I have much to learn about self-editing as well.
Many of you are able to allow creativity to flow and leave the editing to the pro's. As I said, the choice is yours.
Last night, I had the opportunity to join Palm Group in Sorrento, a writing group of which I was a long-time member. Relocation of both the group and me had prevented my attendance for quite a while but another move back into the general area has enabled my re-acquaintance with the group. It was great to see the old gang along with newer members I had not met. The Oldies are still the Goodies - as talented and friendly as I remember.The Newbies are promising as well. I look forward to another visit next month.
One of the things I enjoyed about Palm Group was their ability to dissect work by other writers/authors and point out areas for improvement and deletion. (My, are they good at it!)
But submission to the table is not for the faint of heart. My first visit was four years ago when the former leader introduced them to me as, "The Carnivores". What an accurate description it was!
While no member feels belittled or unappreciated, one sure does find the need to be on his or her toes. The critics don't miss a trick but give it to you with both tough and tender morsels of advice and praise. Needless to say, I will polish my work with much self-editing before I submit anything. I think I will just sit back and learn from the others for a while as I am rusty in the art of being heavily critiqued and swallowing it.
Not that I have all raving reviews by those who read and critique my work currently but that Palm Group has a reputation for raking it with a fine toothed comb. This is exactly what I need...as soon as I am ready again.
For now, I shall trade services with a few select trusted members of the other writing group in which I hold membership, the Clermont Christian Writer's Group, the group that is strong on encouragement. That way I will experience the best of both worlds.
On the flip side of the coin, I also have recently "met" someone who runs an editing company. You can find information about her services at: http://www.awordaptlywritten.com/
Regardless of your selection of the venue, editing is a must. You must have connections with other writers who can edit your work and you never know ahead of time where those connections could lead.