Editor: Naomi Burns Company: Copy Cat Editing # of years in editing: 15 years
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
After trying a few career paths that I really didn't enjoy, I decided to focus on careers involving my favorite hobby: reading! I interned at a small press, got a job as an editorial assistant, and eventually decided to go freelance—as a copyeditor and proofreader, with my first client being my last employer.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
Scholarly manuscripts as this was the area of my first employer/client; now, corporate clients as well to add variety.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
I have a written daily work schedule, including time for exercise and breaks. I also have a daily list of projects to work on, prioritized according to deadlines.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
Working from home; I love sitting on the porch to work—or anywhere I feel like. For one month a few years ago, I rented an apartment in Ireland and worked from there!
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
Focus. Especially on lengthy manuscripts, I find it challenging to keep focused. Lots of mini-breaks, as well as longer breaks help.
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently finishing up a manuscript that is a biography of an influential Chinese man. I'm also working on a self-help manuscript for a Catholic press. And I'm editing some online materials for university coursework.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Do your best to figure out which editorial field you'd most enjoy and really target those clients from the start; it can be hard to switch to another field later.