Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Random Acts of Silliness

The house is shaking! Earthquake! Leap from chair and run around in circles.

Oh. Wait. It's just the washing machine on the spin cycle.

Return to computer. Feel stupid.

P.S. More silliness: I was writing tags for this post, and I wrote "washington machine" by accident. Made me laugh, as I live in Washington State.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Learn and Grow

There's nothing worse than starting a blog, and then not being consistent in posting. If you expect followers to read your posts, they must be frequent and interesting and sometimes interactive. I've failed on all counts due to a heavy (read impossible) workload). So, apologies to the few loyal readers who check in every so often. I'll do better.

Why do I edit? What makes me think I can make a living as a freelance editor? Well, I love to edit. I can't explain it. As a kid, I used to delight in finding typos in books and newspapers. I think it must be an inferiority/superiority complex. *g*

But when it comes right down to it, I'm a natural nurturer, and helping fledgling writers makes me feel happy and worthy of existing on this planet earth and inhaling my share of oxygen. I love coaching writers, educating them, expanding their writing horizons. I love when they suddenly "get it." I love seeing their writing become better and better. And I especially love when they say, "I couldn't have done it without you."

I can't make a decent living at this job. It doesn't pay me very well. But it is satisfying, and I get to work from home and be my own boss and have my dog under the desk and my cats snoozing on top of the desk. And I have other clients who are published and don't need coaching, but they also give me the fun jobs like writing their newsletters and designing their bookmarks and setting up a mailing list database.

I get all my work from referrals from existing clients, so I must be doing something right. I have become friends with many of my clients. And I have been forced to grow, to learn new things, because I have to keep up with my clients. So, as I teach my clients, they teach me. Learning and growing--we help each other and we enrich each other's lives. And isn't that what life is all about?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Bad Handwriting

I just finished a job inputting an editor's edits into a client's manuscript. The editor had the worst handwriting I've ever seen. It was a real challenge interpreting her handwriting, and often I had to use intuition. What's more, her erasures were incomplete, so that when she wrote over the erasure, the bleedthrough from the erased bit made it very difficult to read the new text.

She also used pencil, and a dull one at that. After working on a computer all day, my eyes are tired. Trying to squint at bad handwriting written with a dull pencil just kills my eyes. At times, I had to put drops in my eyes and keep them closed for 15 minutes in order to continue. I also put a high-watt lightbulb in my desk lamp to help me read the handwriting better.

I think there are some jobs that one should have the courage to say to the client, "Because of the intense difficulty of this job, I will need to increase my rates." I've never worked so hard on a job. Toward the end, I was putting in 15- and 20-hour days. My eyes are still bloodshot.

But the worst of the job is done, and now I'm inputting line edits by the same editor. The handwriting is still bad, but the line edits are fewer than the original batch of edits. One must be thankful for small bits of happiness whenever they pop up. *g*