Editor: Renee Clark Company: Freelance Number of years in editing: Literally, a year now. Mostly, concentrating my time on learning how to build and grow a freelance editing business and taking copyediting courses.
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
I am a born and raised Floridian along with my brother and two sisters. The library is my sanctuary thanks to my mom being a librarian for 20 some-odd years, I became a book worm instantly. My favorite genres are mystery and non-fiction. I got into editing just by chance. I was thinking of creating my own blog (which I still plan to do) and while I was researching, I came across a video about copyediting. Once I saw what it was about, I switched gears and started to focus more on copyediting and proofreading.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
I am, mostly, focused on retail blogs and articles and the new enhancements in retail technology. I chose this niche because of my teacher, Jennifer Lawler, from one of my copyediting courses with the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). She happened to notice how much I spoke about my retail background in my coursework, so she recommended I center my passion for copyediting around getting work or even internships through retail magazines. I was so focused on getting out of retail I didn’t realize how much my experience in retail could be so beneficial in my new career.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
Well, I get up at six o’clock in the morning and get my workout and breakfast out of the way. Then I focus on sending out letters of introduction (LOIs) to find copyediting and/or proofreading work. By ten o’clock, I am on my way to my part-time job. At six o’clock in the evening, I am back home, I eat dinner, and then I will watch a webinar from the EFA or ACES websites or practice the criteria of The Chicago Manual of Style. I really try to plan out my day as much as possible because, if I don’t, I will let certain things fall to the wayside.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
My favorite thing is getting to be a part of making the author’s writing a cohesive and enjoyable piece for the audience to read. I always say it’s the little things that make a difference. Being able to go over an article or manuscript with a fine-tooth comb and clean up any necessary misspellings, grammar, syntax, etc., can make a big difference in how the writer’s work is received.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
My biggest challenge now is finding steady work. I have been sending out LOIs for freelance work and internships. I’m hoping to have something by spring or summer.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am continuing my learning by taking courses and webinars through the EFA and ACES websites. I plan to start learning more about line editing and APA style next.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Utilize your social media platforms and connect with other editors, writers, and publishing companies. In the beginning, I didn’t know where to start or who to connect with. I just wasn’t engaging on social media that often, which hurt me a little bit because I could’ve possibly had a steady workflow by now. But as I started to learn more about owning my own freelance business, I realized how important it is to market yourself as well as your business. If you are able to, participate in courses or events that can teach you how to market and grow your editorial business.