Editor: Joanie Eppinga Company: Eagle Eye Editing & Writing Number of years in editing: 24 years
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
I remember being 9 years old, looking out at the billboards from the back seat of my mom's car, and saying, "When I grow up I want to fix all the apostrophes." I switched from being a mental health therapist to being an editor so I could work from home and be with my kids.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
I'm a generalist, which I love; the variety keeps me alert and interested.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
I rely on that quote from Little Women, something like: "Girls, let's work with a will today so we can play with a clean conscience tomorrow!" Now that I'm an empty nester, I can work whenever I like, so it may be at 2 a.m. or any other time.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
Getting to read so many different and interesting things—including many that I wouldn't pick up on my own.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
I find that freelancing is like waitressing—often either you're slammed or it's dead. When I have a few days without any work, I sometimes get anxious; but it doesn't happen often, and when it does, I try to use that time to catch up on other things.
What are you currently working on?
A coffee table book about the Allies winning World War II. It has a lot of photographs and contains many newspaper columns of the day, so it's interesting to see how language usage has changed.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Formal training can be very helpful, but if you are attentive and disciplined—and are willing to spend a lot of time with style guides—you can do a good job of training yourself.