In 2020, I became a Career Support Officer for the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) London, and we recently launched the #humansinpublishing campaign to learn and share more about the people working in the industry. The SYP and a fellow member from the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, Georgina Coles, recently asked me how I became an editor. Here is my story.
I’ve been a bookworm all my life. Still, out of all my friends and family, I am the only person who was surprised that I became an editor. Getting here was a long, unexpected journey, and only by looking back can I see the trail through a dark wood.
Throughout school I had fantastic teachers, and their influence steered me toward a career in teaching – I just didn’t know what. During the year I spent studying in Germany, languages and linguistics captured my heart. I followed those breadcrumbs, and the result was a graduate degree in linguistics with a specialisation in teaching.
Weeks after graduation, job offer in hand, I was on a plane to Japan. My teaching career took me from Osaka to Istanbul to Dubai, but eight years into it, I had to admit that teaching wasn’t the right fit. I re-evaluated my future by looking at what I liked to do and what skills I already had. Having spent many hours, red pen in hand, bent over grammar books and correcting word usage – I had unknowingly been training for my career in editing.
While I began building my editing business, I worked under an established editor and did some professional development courses. I’m lucky because I never had to quit my ‘day job.’ I do the same things I always have: read, work with the nuances of meaning, read, create structure and organise, and read some more. I love getting to see and analyse both the forest and the trees.
With two years of experience under my belt, I knew it was time for a change. So in 2019 when I told my friends and family that I was relocating to London to join the world of publishing, the reply was always the same: ‘It’s about time.’
You can find out more about the SYP at thesyp.org.uk
If you need a proofreader, head over to Georgina's website at georginacoles.co.uk
If you're looking for information about editing, check out www.ciep.uk
I read a lot, not just for my work as an editor but for fun and to learn, and yes, for a little escapism!