Most editors like to keep learning after we finish our initial training. Over time, standards change, technology upgrades, and minds forget. January is a good time to do some studying. And reviewing is better in a group, right?
Back in 2018, several students in my copyediting program started an accountability group, and I was invited to join. We're all in different stages of our careers. We've helped each other with tough question and editing conundrums, and we've supported each other through major life changes.
We decided to prioritize ourselves this year. We'll be refreshing our knowledge base by going through The Copyeditor’s Workbook together, starting today.
Every month we’ll tackle two or three exercises and discuss how we did, what the pitfalls were, what minor typo we caught, and what we learned. Believe me, the exercises are tricky!
Two members are in the UK, and the others are in North Carolina, Kentucky, California and Washington state. We’re spread far and wide but we are happy to be reconnecting and motivating one another through these trying times while we also work to keep our eyes sharp!
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
Why does the world need another book blog?
That’s a silly question, so I’ll skip it.
Why am I starting the book blog?
In 2019, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at fifty-two books. In hindsight, it was not a good idea. I was amazed that I actually could read fifty-two books in a year and amazed at how much I couldn't remember of all that I read.
Who is this blog for?
First of all, it's for me, to help me remember what I read.
Second, it's for writers, authors, and readers.
I read a lot and I wanted to find a way for authors to benefit from that. I find good examples of different aspects of the craft of writing to share from those books. That way you don't have to read the whole book (but you should!) if you 're just looking for quick examples.
Finally, this is also a blog for readers who aren't sure if a book is for them. I hope to give just enough information to help you decide to pick it up!
What kinds of books do you read?
I even read the US government’s IRS Tax Publications for heaven’s sake.
Do I have time to read another blog?
Yes, entries will be short. Nothing longer than 900 words. I know you don’t have a lot of time!
Will these be book reviews?
No. Plenty of other fine readers and book bloggers and vloggers are doing amazing jobs reviewing books. While I promise not to give away any spoilers, I’m not going to tell you what the book is about—the focus is only what I thought worth remembering.
That’s pretty subjective, isn’t it?
Yes, it is! However, in my daily life as an editor, I spend ninety percent of my time being objective, following style guides and rule books. I hope to be allowed an opinion and some feelings occasionally.
Why are there are other topics on this blog?
I don't live in a black hole and everything is connected!
Editing is my profession, so I read editing and writing books, and I'll share the ones I like.
Technically I work in publishing, a murky, mysterious field that authors and writers can benefit from knowing more about.
I like to be positive, so I'll only share good things about books I liked. All authors works hard on their books, and all take different advice and different routes. Liking a book is subjective. Just because I didn't like something doesn't mean I need to shout about it to the world.
Welcome to my bookshelves!
I read a lot and I hope to help authors with the craft of writing. I share good examples of difficult aspects of writing: point of view, narration, world building and more.
Occasionally I give editing tips and share insights from the world of publishing.
Posts on editing
Posts on publishing
Posts on books