The hard work begins here…. I have started on this (long?) road of my training with Chapterhouse Publishing’s course in Copy Editing and Proofreading, and I have just enrolled.
I will be waiting for the manuals with the tools of the trade I feel already quite familiar with to arrive, so I will finally learn the “proper” ways of doing it that other people will be requiring from me.
Working with Cat is always really straightforward – she’s a good writer and writes fairly short articles, which she then just emails to me and I edit on MS Word – or Google Docs, if I need easier online access. The mistakes are usually minor and quickly rectified, and the articles are always interesting and entertaining to read. All bonuses when it comes to these things! I rather think it will not be quite so easy when it comes to doing it professionally, though…
I am aware that a lot of copy-editing is still done on paper and requires specialist correction techniques so as those who receive the edited copy can adjust the writing accordingly. It’s learning this skill that will be important, but will also make editing much less straightforward than the way I edit Cat’s writing. Other than that I’ve had the experience of editing and proofreading copies for years, for so many things, so I think I’m ready for it!
What I am looking forward to (in the – hopefully – not-too-distant-future) is attaching my natural fascination and acquired skills with IT and programming to the learning how VBAs and analytical tools can be used to assist with editing. The SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders) runs courses on these skills – as well as specific website editing courses – and it’s something I’m looking forward to doing when I’ve gained the relevant skills to apply for them.
I’m not really naturally inclined to handle paper – electronic and virtual things are much easier to use, manipulate, and don’t clog up space, and they also much more fun to play with. For me, it was the final pro-point to trying to start this up as a career, as I could “geek-it-up” and continue to use my IT skills with it, and learn new ones too – a huge bonus. I would love my main focus to be with on-screen editing, website editing, and using programs and software to help me do this job to.
My original dilemma was that I didn’t want to leave the geek-world of IT behind for “traditional” non-IT work. The only “old-fashioned” thing I embrace is reading real books – as in ones made of paper, not Kindles. After reading that these skills were becoming core skills, and were being coveted by the “clients”, I was finally convinced that I would be quite happy slowly transferring my career into this industry.
I would also love to put these to good use within the IT or gaming industries – editing and proofreading for game writers or IT manuals… But that’s for the future. I’m still putting it down as a goal though!
For the first time, I may be genuinely looking forward to the future…