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I know I am not the only writer pondering the question of an editor.

Currently I am an aspiring author writing my first novel and I have to say the experience has been very demanding, very stimulating and the most fun I can remember having in a long time.

My challenge now that I am nearly finished with a complete draft is to choose the best way to polish it into the jewel I know it will be. Should I use an editing service, beta readers, friends or all of the above?

I have not shown this writing to anyone yet; it has been a closely guarded secret until the day it is ready to be revealed to the world. But now the closer I get to completion, the more I think about letting someone else into my imaginary world, but who? Is a professional opinion the best way to go? If so, should I approach agents first and hope one will bite or go the independent route and research and select an editor for myself?

I don’t know which direction my journey will take me but if it is anything like that path getting here, I’m sure it will be memorable.