I have set myself up as a copy-editor, general editor and ghost-writer. This is in addition to my part-time (at present)work as a private English tutor – and, of course, my own creative writing.
I enjoy all three – but today I am going to concentrate on the first!
Over my thirty years as an English teacher, I must have marked thousands of exercise books and essays written on A4 paper.
Although the sheer volume of books and papers to correct was challenging to say the least, I always loved the actual process of marking a child’s piece of writing – and, though I say it myself, I was excellent at it: Thorough, neat, extremely knowledgeable and often funny, the last of those taking away any sting which my need to use red pen so prolifically might bring to the child’s mind. I also aimed to increase confidence whenever, and wherever, I could – so, even if an essay was technically faulty and careless, I tried to find some merit in it for the young person to build upon.
Three years ago, I did my first paid editing job; on the weekend, my second. Both were for friends and fellow writers, though I will be equally happy to provide this service for people I do not know personally.
That first job involved editing a long and complex series of lessons – and it was absolutely fascinating, such an eye-opener. Although my job was to concentrate upon the writing itself (and to make suggestions and corrections in the realms of spelling, punctuation, grammar, use of words and so on), I also read the content (of course) and learned a huge amount about the subjects being described. I loved the challenge of the whole thing; it gave me great satisfaction.
My most recent job involved editing a book of short stories – and again gave me huge satisfaction: It was great to read the individual pieces, and lovely to be using my skills to suggest ways of making them even better.
Many people have a natural love of writing. I am, as you know, one of them. But some people feel constrained, or embarrassed, by low academic qualifications (as if they truly said anything about our creativity!) and/or not very good standard of English in the technical sense.
I am, and always have been, extremely good technically. I loved punctuation from an early age (I know, I know; I need to get out more!) and, thanks to my mother, was an instinctive speller. I learned quickly to relish the minutiae of grammar, of expression; I thrilled to the Parts of Speech and hoarded examples, adding to them regularly, delighting in their patterns and rules and exceptions. I have read voraciously all my life.
So now I am offering my skills to a wider audience.
Dissertations? Technical books? Creative essays? Novels? Short Stories?
Yes, I can apply my editing skills to all of those – and more.
So if you know that what you have written is brilliant in terms of content – but, perhaps, a little inaccurate as far as punctuation and spelling is concerned – I’m your woman, as the saying goes!
I am efficient, thorough, know what I am doing – and my rates, which are in line with those suggested by the NUJ Freelancers’ Guide, are very reasonable.
In terms of my qualifications, I have a BA (hons) Degree in English Literature, a PGCE certificate (English) and three decades of teaching, which included many hours of private tuition. As an experienced writer myself, I am able to offer a unique service!