Editor works solo as owner of her own Omaha company
By Michaela Odens
University of Nebraska Lincoln
Sandra Wendel had barely started along her career path when she got fired.
She was a communications expert at a non-profit organization, and she and the company didn’t see eye-to-eye. It was this experience combined with her personality that made Wendel realize she would prefer to work alone.
She had been an editor at her high school newspaper and a journalism major at The University of Iowa so she decided to start her own editing company, Write On, Inc., in 1999.
Write On, Inc. is an editing and writing company in Omaha, Neb. Wendel helps authors write, edit, and publish their manuscripts. She works on memoir, health, psychology, self-help, sales and true crime books.
As her own boss, Wendel has to have good time management skills. She says she only takes on a few projects at a time and works seven days a week.
Because Wendel works from home and creates her own schedule, she has to watch her time carefully. Wendel also says she doesn’t take on different styles of books at the same time such as, health and true crime, because she doesn’t want to be switching her mind back and forth between two completely different topics.
Some tasks she performs include reading and evaluating books, and interviewing and meeting with clients. She sometimes has to fill out forms up to 20 pages long for publishers.
Apart from Write On, Inc., Wendel also uses her talents elsewhere. She is a regular contributor to the Omaha World-Herald’s LiveWell section. Recently, Wendel interviewed three local bartenders who make craft drink mixes from locally grown produce for an article published in the World-Herald.
In addition she has developed Web content for eMedicine Health, MayoClinic.com, and other health websites. Wendel, with colleague Lisa Pelto, also teaches classes at Metropolitan Community College called “How to Write Your Book,” “How to Publish Your Book” and “How to Market Your Book.”
Wendel summarizes her job as ‘a boring life with interesting people.’ She says her favorite part of her job is meeting and interviewing interesting people. You never know when a person is going to have a great story, she says. Recently, she helped a Holocaust survivor write their story.
Wendel says her least favorite thing is getting edited by other people who don’t know what they are doing.
She has plenty of advice for college students, starting with telling them to immerse themselves in opportunities. She cites her time in college as an example in the late ’60s and early ’70s when many college students were activists involved in political upheaval such as the Vietnam War.
Without practical experience, she says, students will drown when they leave college. Don’t drown.