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Let me back up for a minute

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Let me back up for a minute

Postby Fixer-Upper » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:24 am

I just realized I posted without doing one of these intro posts first. I'll give you my background now so it doesn't have to come out in bits and pieces along the way.

I've been an editor since the '90s, and I love editing. I mean, I fucking love it. Finding every misplaced comma, making sure some guy's name is spelled correctly throughout a manuscript, flip-flopping phrases in passive voice...all of it fucking rocks. I unearth and correct a pronoun/antecedent issue, and some little pleasure center in my brain lights up like the 4th of July.

I'm not a professional writer, though I've written stuff before. I'm a good writer, but I don't think I could do it professionally because I'm not fast enough to make it worthwhile. I'm happy just to dabble in it here and there.

I currently work for a book publisher editing, proofreading, and writing indexes. I do love the job in spite of being paid my weight in peanuts, but the commute to and from downtown each day is draining. I'd really love to freelance (which is why I looked into Demand in the first place). Also, my husband is in the type of career where you put in your 25 years and then you can retire. Well, he started young, so he's two years away from being able to retire. We've talked about what we want to do after that and are starting up a little side business that will hopefully grow in the next few years. Ideally, I'd like to be freelancing by the time he retires so we could work on the side business together while I still edit part time.

Christ, I'm fucking boring....
Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin' / And I'm not stuffin' / Believe you me / Don't you remember I told ya / I'm a soldier in the war on poverty.
-Billy Preston
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Re: Let me back up for a minute

Postby SEO Speedwagon » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:26 am

I get that little thrill from editing, too. It's just something about making something cleaner, neater, and better. (Ego trip? God complex? OCD?)
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Re: Let me back up for a minute

Postby berg » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:37 pm

I don't think an editor needs to be fast, unless you are getting paid $3.50 an article. I have editors for my professional work and the turn-around can be as long as 3 months. Of course, these are books they are editing, but still. All I want in an editor is someone with the wisdom to know when changing wording will create confusion. In an effort to create clean prose, too many editors go to the extreme and change things they don't fully understand. My work with editors has always been a collaboration complete with meetings. Demand takes this element of communication out of the equation. But that is because they don't want good quality content. They want properly formulated sentences that aren't flagged for grammar issues by Google and content that is churned out in the fastest way possible.

I'm not a great writer. My expertise is an an area only ambiguously related to writing. However, I have to communicate my ideas to other people, so I end up writing thousands of pages a month worth of prose in addition to my professional activities. For this, I mostly get paid extremely well. I think a good editor is someone that understands grammar and is capable of simplifying and clarifying without distorting the message. In the case of Demand studios, the editors should just edit for grammar and move things along.

Could you add an additional sentence that explains something you heard in TV in this article? Yes. Should the writer do this? Not for $15.00. For $15.00 you get one proofreading by me, the writer, and superficial ideas and content. I don't work for less than $60.00 an hour because I have advanced degrees, loans, and family. I can't afford to work for less than that. On the other hand, you want me to change a few small issues with wording, fine. But only if it takes me less than 5 minutes. If you haven't bothered to edit the article though, don't expect me to spend more time on it. No edits tells me that you may not have any intention of approving the article.

By the way, I don't know how this rant comes across to you. I'm not attacking you though. I'm just giving you my take on the whole editing thing. Welcome to the forum. I hope you are successful in your ambitions. In the end, I love good editors. I love how they can make simple changes to my prose that makes it much more meaningful. I especially like professional long-term relationships with editors because they often know what I am trying to express and help to clarify my circular style of writing.
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