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
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.
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