By Katharine Vail
Are you constantly correcting grammar mistakes everywhere you see them? Whether it is on Facebook statuses, when people are speaking to you, books or newspaper articles you are reading, you are constantly correcting the mistakes in your head (or maybe even out loud!). Do you read with a red pen? Are published books actually reedited . . . by you? This is why I decided to become an editor.
I didn’t decide to go to school to become an editor though. In fact, I began college as a Business major. I thought that’s where all the money could be made. After a couple semesters of taking economics and business classes, I discovered that business was definitely not the field I was supposed to be in. I switched over to an English major and enjoyed the freedom that the English language gave me. The great thing about English classes was that most of the graded work wasn’t based on the facts that I could regurgitate on quizzes and tests, rather the graded work focused on the papers that I wrote and the ideas that I could come up with.
How did I begin editing?
After college, I was convinced that I had to have a job in the business world that offered me insurance, 401k plans, and a salary. That’s what every college graduate wants, right? After sending numerous resumes out to companies, I decided that what I really needed to do was focus on what was right in front of me. My computer. I needed to create a website that offered freelance editing. I loved to read, and what could be better than to make money reading anything and everything. I decided I could help writers polish their writing!
I joined the Elance network and sent proposals to prospective writers that I could work for. Money wasn’t the main objective when I began. The main objective was to get my name out there and start gaining positive feedback. Once a few writers hired me, I began to acquire constant work from them. I also joined the San Diego Professional Editors Network and reached more writers that needed editors for their books. Again work started to flow and after one project finished, often writers would send me more of their work to edit.
My Advice to College Students
Begin to build your resume right now! Join your college’s newspaper or magazine. Become the editor of it! If your college doesn’t have a newspaper or magazine, start one! Nothing looks better than being able to show prospective clients that you have experience or that you took initiative to begin something that you love.
Become an intern at a newspaper, magazine, or press. Not only will this give you an idea of what it is like to work as an Editor but you will be able to gain firsthand experience of what day-to-day life in the office is like. If you are striving to work for yourself, you will still gain valuable skills as an intern that will make you prosper in your future!