Walking onto this Layne

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Welcome to my resurrected website and my new blog! Writingthatsings.com has had several past lives on various servers. I trust this one will be the best ever. I hope you are well in these strange and troubled times and that you find some redeeming graces in them. Being at home so much has allowed me the time to build this website and to learn many things about running a business; I still need to implement a lot of them. A blog is important to any business with a web presence—how much more a business centered on writing!

                Blogs can morph over time, so there may be surprises ahead. At this point, I’ll focus on you as a writer: encourage you, entertain you, advise you, and help you become the best writer you can be—always an unending road because writing is an art and perfection an elusive goal. I aim to help you meet your writing and publishing goals.

                By the way, I didn’t misspell “lane.” The pun is intentional. Layne is my middle name, Robin Layne my pen name, and Robin Layne Enterprises the name of my business. I call it “enterprises” because I’m not just an editor and not just a writer. I have other enterprises in mind too. Writing is essential to most of my creative and supportive work, however. As an award-winning writer, I am enthused by good stories, so I love to help the stories shine. And as an editor certified by U.C. Berkeley with a background at Ooligan Press (Portland State University) and Barking Rain Press (Vancouver, Washington), I can help you hone fiction and nonfiction books, as well as shorter works like blogs, articles, and even poems.

                A lane is a narrow road or path. Often as writers, we feel alone, as if we were walking on a narrow path that few have trodden. At times we worry in our isolation whether too many others walk the same road, writing things that will crowd out our own voices. Let me assure you, your voice is unique. Even if you come up with the same basic story as someone else (it happens), your take on it will be different from another’s. Will it be more accepted than the competition? That depends on a number of factors, which we will discuss.

                The writing road needn’t be entirely solitary. I’ve belonged to organizations, large and small, in which people write in community. That can be a wonderful experience. I’ll tell you more about these communities in future posts.

                When brainstorming for a title for this blog, I considered “The Enterprising Writer.” An image of the Starship Enterprise popped into my mind. I googled the phrase I was thinking of and saw that other people were using it. I wanted something unique that was geared toward you, the writer. I didn’t find any others using my middle name as part of such a title.

                A little background: I’m in the Portland area of Oregon. I’ve lived in Oregon most of my life, and I prefer Oregon to my original home in Southern California. I do my editing online, so my business is available for anyone in the United States. I’ve had clients in other states who were only a phone call or email away. We can exchange phone calls after we have decided to work together on your writing project(s). I use my desktop computer for my editing, which works better than hand editing for a number of reasons: Track Changes, along with comments in “balloons” to the right of the pages, allows you to adjust the text size for ease of reading, lets you see the reasons for my suggestions and accept or reject each change individually (or, if you choose, all of them wholesale). The Track Changes and balloon comments work interchangeably in both PCs and Macs. And neither of us will need to deal with deciphering or erasing hand lettering.

                I often work with my gray cockatiel Angel on my left shoulder. He likes me to sit still when I’m his perch because he has balance issues. Most people don’t notice, but he is an amputee. Years ago, a pet rat bit off one of his toes, which led to the loss of two more of his original four. Angel is a tough alpha male who has lived where other birds have died, but I’m still protective of him. Although he dislikes being touched, he likes everybody and whistles when anyone comes into the room or talks with me on the phone.

                My next post will be “Why Writers (Still) Need Editors.” It will challenge the idea that in our age of technology all a person has to do to be a successful published author is to type up some words, make them into a book on Amazon, wait for it to become a bestseller, and get rich. I’ll talk about how editors have enriched my writing life and how, once I became an editor myself, I’ve been able to do the same for others.

                Talk with you again soon!

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