Sarah Barnum is a freelance editor with an eye for both detail and story. She has been involved with Inspire Christian Writers since 2011 and is a published writer—most recently in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She serves on the board for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Sarah enjoys ranch life in Northern California with her graphic designer husband and Appaloosa horse, Ransom. Learn more about TrailBlaze Writing & Editing at www.trail-blazes.com.
- As an editor, what do you specialize in? I am still developing my specialties and finding the areas that interest me most. Right now I do a little bit of everything—developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. My favorite genre to work in is memoir.
- What are some of your favorite resources when editing or writing? The usuals—The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster. Some of my other favorite books include: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert—on the creative process. Write His Answer by Marlene Bagnull—a Bible study for writers. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss—a punctuation comedy.
- What advice would you give to a beginning editor? First, ask God to make the way for you. When He led me into editing, He made it abundantly clear I wasn’t in control, and I wasn’t creating this career myself. He has opened doors, dropped jobs in my lap, and brought some incredible people alongside me. Second, be teachable and confident. Ask when you don’t know, but also give yourself some credit for what you do know.
- How has God gifted you to succeed in this business? He made me an introvert and a detail-oriented word nerd, and He gave me a desire to help others. He has also gifted me with people to encourage and equip me.
- What is your favorite Scripture and why? “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV). As a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, this verse reminds me that focusing on God, not on other people’s opinions or my own failures, is what brings peace.
- What do you love to edit or read? I read and edit a variety of genres. Some of my favorite authors to read also represent my favorite type of books to read: Jane Austen (British classics), C. S. Lewis (Christian living), and Agatha Christie (mysteries). When editing, I particularly enjoy working on memoir, allegorical stories, and the occasional speculative fiction novel. My special interests include horses, millennials, and Christian counseling.
- What’s one unique thing about you? I am a certified horseback riding instructor. In my previous life, I managed a non-profit therapeutic riding program for children with special needs. Now I just enjoy riding my Appaloosa horse, Ransom, around the ranch where I live.