Editor: Elisa M. Rodero Company: Rodero Writes Number of years in editing: I’ve been doing paid editing work for more than 20 years, preceded by a few years of incidental tasks and assignments.
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
Moving into an editing role was an easy transition from high school English teacher. Once I left teaching, I found myself taking on more proofreading and editing tasks at work as people turned to me for help. These tasks eventually morphed into full-time and freelance editing work.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
For the past 15 years, my freelance editing work has been in the telecommunications industry. A friend at a telecom company needed some help in that arena and brought me on as a contractor. I’ve also held a full-time position leading a team to edit federal proposal responses for a large government contracting firm.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
I have a young son who is attending school virtually during the pandemic, so my “workday” is very fragmented. Usually, I save my assignments for the evenings or work on them piecemeal while my son is otherwise occupied. It’s not the easiest scenario, but we manage.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
My favorite part of editing is when I receive a document that has good information, but needs substantial reworking to be digestible. These pieces feel like brain teasers to me, and it’s so satisfying to be able to read a clean, final copy that is well-organized, correct, and accessible for a variety of audiences.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
Often, the biggest challenge is time. If I can’t carve out time in the evening, I set my son up with something interesting and give myself (and him) a time limit (half an hour, an hour) so I can hunker down and try to get something done.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on finding additional/more regular work.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Familiarize yourself with style guides so you feel generally comfortable with them. It’s very time-consuming to consult the guides continually while editing. Also, figure out when you’re most alert/focused, and try to do most of your work during that time. Procrastination is your enemy.