A post about what exactly an editor does or doesn’t do over at Freelance Writing Gigs reminded me of a question I got over at About.com Freelance Writing. A veteran writer wanted to move into editorial work, and her thinking was:
When I write, particularly for magazines, I appreciate the heck out of the editors I am paired up with. I know that both of our goals are the same: to print the most polished article with the “right” message. That back up– the back up of an editor– is a support system I often lacked from bosses when I worked full time (which may be part of the reason I hung out my shingle).
When I edit or proofread, I think the same way. I’ve been proofreading leveled readers for a big publisher lately, and wow, some of the stories the writers come up with are just plain cute.
But, I digress (hey, it’s my blog!) on to the questions:
Can you be both? Yes. Is it automatic? *&^% no! There are a lot of writers who cannot edit and vice versa. And that’s fine. You know what? I think the strongest on either side are the ones who can “only” do one thing. And I know I’m giving myself away here, as I personally do both.
How’s the outlook? Not sure. You would think with the print industry tanking, this would be easier to answer. But I’ve seen many a posting for a DIGITAL editor. Everything written must be (well, should be) edited.
And, on to how. (Notice how I put it at the bottom so you had to read down. Yeah, I’m sneaky like that.) How? The best way to learn is to associate yourself with the pros in the field. I always, always begin with the Editorial Freelancers Association. Read their website, and join their Facebook page. Sign up for their group list, and you will learn from the best. I cannot recommend them enough!