Editor: Lyric Dodson Company: Freelance Number of years in editing: 5 years
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
My name is Lyric, and I’m a freelance nonfiction editor, specializing in spirituality and self-help books. I’ve been freelancing for about two years now, though I’ve been editing in general going on five. I got my start as a writing coach in my university’s writing center, helping undergrad and grad students complete their papers and dissertations. From there, I worked as the lone copy editor for my university’s newspaper and became well-acquainted with AP Style (which is my favorite). After I graduated, I worked as a proofreader for a marketing/advertising agency, then began my freelancing career after that initial contract ended.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
My area of focus is nonfiction work, namely memoirs and spirituality and self-help books. I chose this niche because the human experience fascinates me. I love learning about others’ lives and the choices they make each and every day to lead positive, fulfilling ones.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
Oh, boy! My typical workday starts around 9 a.m., going through emails and updating my calendar. Then, I get to work, usually on the smaller, routine projects I have going on (blog posts/web content). After lunch, I tackle my bigger projects (manuscripts, writing projects). I’d like to say I work normal business hours, but I don’t. I sometimes work until 11 p.m./midnight, but it really doesn’t feel like work to me. I love what I do!
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
My favorite thing about being an editor is, believe it or not, editing! I love helping my clients turn their ideas and words into something amazing. There’s an art to creating an effective, hard-hitting sentence, and I’m always looking for ways to improve upon my skillls.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
My biggest challenge is definitely time management. As you’ve just learned, I can spend literally all day working, and while that’s sometimes a great characteristic to have, it can be my downfall at times too. I do my best to schedule my work hours in advance so I know exactly what I need to do and when, but it doesn’t always work out the way I had hoped.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the final round of edits for a diary-style memoir and a breastfeeding guide for new mothers. I also have the first chapter of another memoir sitting in my queue (which I should really get to soon LOL).
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Do whatever it is you want to do. Before I began freelancing, I was told there was no money in editing unless I worked for a major publishing house. Had I listened, I would probably be miserable, working at a job I hate. If you want to edit comic books, do it! If cookbooks bring you joy, make it happen! Editors are needed in virtually every industry. Find a niche that feeds your soul, then go after it relentlessly.