Sooo…I’m an author. And I kinda got myself an editor. I am actually too poor to pay her but she’s working with me. We have a friendship that developed after we signed our editing contract and before I started actually paying her.
But I wonder if that’s getting in the way. Of one thing or the other.
Because of my financial situation and her interest in my work, our contract is very relaxed. We are working on my manuscript bit by bit.
Is our personal relationship also our professional relationship? Is there really any way to separate the two?
We do more talking like sisters do than actual “professional” work. We are basically the voice note equivalents of pen pals. I’ve told her things about me that no one else knows. In a way, we’re still strangers. So maybe that’s why I feel there’s nothing to lose by attempting to be my whole self around with her.
Our differences come to the surfaces. She’s mixed, wealthy, business-owning, and is from Canada. Whereas both my parents are unmistakably Black, I have no white relatives directly, am poor and grew up poor, and was born and raised in the United States. Her privilege shows. A lot at times, and I find it grating. Like when I explain what its like to grow up in an abusive home situation and have an abusive, negligent family–she completely does not understand that and insists on treating me like I’ve chosen to be poor or like I’m seeing my family’s behavior the wrong way. It reminds me that no one is from where I am from and survives together and rises together. That’s hard. With this sister, also my editor, I am constantly amazed at how different two people’s lives can be and how differently they can view the world. Or, in her case, choose to view the world regardless of how much I want her to understand what I’m going through. Some people have privilege blinders too thick for anything to penetrate.
Sometimes I see sides of her that make me doubt our professional relationship, like how laid back she can be about certain things, like not getting invoices to me on time or saying she’ll be done reviewing this chapter on Wednesday (never super late but still) and I don’t see it to go over work for another few days. I don’t want to make excuses for any of that, nor am I missing signs that I might need to break my contract with her. She could indeed be “softening the mark”. I wonder if my financial situation makes me a charity case to her and working on my manuscript is a back burner, chump change thing for her. On the other hand, I do view her for the most part as professional who knows what she’s doing and isn’t trying to get over on me. Our arrangement is unusual, again, because our agreement doesn’t match her usual mode of operation given her willingness to work with me on a chapter by chapter basis.
I often enjoy hearing from her and interacting with her through our messages. Even with the differences and misunderstandings between us. She has been a positive influence for me in my personal life, business, and writing. I can ask her anything. But as we work on my book, I’m keeping an eye on her.