One of my pet projects is a business directory I created a few years ago for fellow skilled Black editorial service providers to stand out in the crowded marketplace. I completely redesigned the website recently, and it hit me how much more amazing it has turned out to be than I ever expected. We’ve built this awesome network filled with talented professional wordsmiths—Black women business owners—who are constantly encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring one another to successfully manage and grow our businesses. We share feedback, insight, advice, tips, and resources. We refer clients to each other. We cheer each other on and celebrate each individual’s milestones and accomplishments. Together, we make being editing and coaching consultants easier and more enjoyable throughout our day-to-day operations. We’ve even gotten together in person a few times, and we’re planning to hold our first beachfront editors retreat later this year.
Additionally, several of them volunteer to mentor or oversee support groups for members of Black Writers Collective, the writers network I founded some 20+ years ago. They run The Novelists’ Spot I and II novel critique tribes (Sherian Brown and Shaundale Hornes Johnson), Refiners (LiVatia “Gwyn” Jordan), and WIPs [Works-in-Progress] (Tamira Butler-Likely, PhD).
I didn’t set out to build something THIS awesome; I was simply aiming to uplift other Black freelance editors with a search engine optimized directory website designed to help them be found in Google and spotlight the range of services they offer. The friendships we’ve formed are definitely “icing on the cake.”