Why did you choose an editorial career, and how did you get into it?
I have always had a very good understanding of the complexities of language, and an excellent eye for detail, so an editorial career was an obvious choice. I didn't realise it, though, until I was working in-house doing a job which happened to include proofreading. I enjoyed it and decided that it was what I wanted to do full time.
What training have you done to get your editorial career up and running?
I learned on the job to begin with and gained a reasonable amount of experience in-house. Once I had decided that I wanted to go freelance, I did a lot of research before taking the PTC's Basic Proofreading course, which, despite its name, is pretty extensive.
What work are you most proud of?
It might not sound very interesting, but as I haven't been working freelance for very long, setting up my business and getting my first client made me feel very proud. It was a great feeling and a real confidence-booster after so much work trying to make myself known. When I finished the job, the client quickly came back and booked me for a second – even better!
What do you do if you're struggling on a job?
Stop and do something else – anything to clear my mind. Whatever I'm struggling with often clicks later on, usually while I am doing something completely different.
What does being a member of the SfEP mean to you?
Opportunity, credibility, support. Not only does it help reassure new clients that their work is in safe hands, it is also a fantastic place for getting advice about all sorts of editing-related matters, and there are plenty of opportunities for picking up work too. I am very glad I joined and would say it is essential for anyone who is serious about a career as a respected editorial professional.
Which editorial tasks do you enjoy the most and why?
I know it's going out of fashion, but I do love using the BSI symbols on paper. I find it very satisfying, almost like creating a work of art!
Do you have any editorial pet hates?
Comma splices and apostrophes on plurals.
What has most surprised you about your editorial career?
How much I enjoy the challenge and experience of doing the things which don't come naturally to me and are not part of editing as such, like marketing and networking.
What's the best career advice you've received?
I have received a lot of very good advice along the way. I think the tip to read Louise Harnby's Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business is the one which stands out most in my mind. I have no marketing background and had so many questions about it when first setting up my business, but working through the book has really been like having my hand held – definitely a worthwhile purchase.
What advice do you have for people starting out on an editorial career?
Go for it – but do plenty of research first. However much you might think you know, the chances are that you will find plenty you don't, so choose a respected course to train on. Also, be prepared to put yourself outside your comfort zone: if you want to work freelance you will be a one-man band and will have to do plenty more than just editing.
Do you ever stop editing?
I have plenty of hobbies outside my work, but I must admit when reading a book for pleasure I can't seem to stop myself looking twice at a sentence to check anything which looks slightly out of place – it drives me mad!
Finally, tell us one thing about you not related to editing
I am a mad keen football fan. I have a season ticket at Wycombe Wanderers, go to all the away games too, help out with general maintenance around the stadium, and am a member of the supporters' trust which owns the club.
The CIEP does not give any special endorsement to the members who appear in Meet our members. If you are looking for an editorial professional, we recommend you search the Directory of Editorial Services.