Editor: Adrienne Pond Company: Lost Art Editing Number of years in editing: 15 years
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
I started as a writer which means I have an innate love for language and storytelling. In 2005, I began teaching English as a Second Language classes. Editing is a natural part of working with language and I loved helping students refine what they wanted to say (I still love this!). I started giving friends feedback on their fiction and essays, which also helped me see where my own writing was going astray. Over the years, I took fiction writing classes, got a certificate in editing, and took many professional development (PD) courses in editing. I still take as many PD courses as possible.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
Developmental editing of fiction is my favorite because it is so rich and full of such depth. Digging into character development, pacing, worldbuilding, dialogue, plot, point of view, and a writer’s unique voice is exciting to me. No two clients are the same and no two projects are the same. It keeps me interested in going to work every day.
However, the language nerd in me really enjoys copyediting, too.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a typical workday. What I’m working on dictates the workday and each project has different needs. Taking breaks is one thing I am consistent about. My eyes have to move away from the computer screen every hour to hour and a half. I take my dog out or water trees or just walk around long enough to give my eyes a break. I think it is smart to not edit more than 5 hours a day, at most. Otherwise, my brain gets a little too flimsy. The rest of the time I will spend reading or doing some kind of professional development.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
Reading others’ stories. Rediscovering everyday why I love language and all it is capable of. Stepping into new worlds.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
Sitting for long periods of time and looking at a computer screen for hours are challenging for me. I take lots of breaks. I wear special glasses that cut down on screen glare and blue light. I change my chair often. I just ordered a seat cushion that is supposed to help support the back and hips better.
What are you currently working on?
I have a steady client who writes about sociology issues.
Two recently finished projects were a developmental edit for a fictionalized memoir and a book of personal profiles on Holocaust camp survivors.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Set up a group of colleagues—other editors with whom you can commiserate, share ideas and resources, ask for advice, and refer out to (or get referrals from).