Category Archives: Blog

My first year as editor and five tips for new editors

2018 has almost come to an end, and I thought that this would be a good moment to reflect on what I have achieved during my first year as a full-time, professional editor and look ahead to 2019. I have to say, I’m quite satisfied! I registered my company, created my website, learned how to run a business, joined Editors Canada and SENSE, took my first course towards obtaining my editing certificate, became a stakeholder in Peerwith, worked with dozens of kind and talented clients, met many amazing “edibuddies” online through various social media platforms, and, not unimportantly, managed to make enough money to have a fun and comfortable life. I hereby want to thank all the clients who chose to work with me and all the editors who have given me their time and advice.

In the new year, I am planning to complete my training, attend my first editing conference, and expand my client base to include think tanks and governmental institutions. I am now also a Permanent Resident of Canada and am going to explore what opportunities this might bring in 2019, beginning with a two-week trip to Toronto in the second half of January 2019 (where I’m planning to meet up with plenty of edibuddies!).

Here are five tips I have for new editors, based on my experience during my first year as a professional editor:

1. Join a professional association

My membership of professional associations no doubt made me look more professional, but for me the main benefit was that it provided me with (information about) many useful resources in terms of training (courses, webinars, books), business (contract templates, how to set rates), and networking (conferences, mailing lists, Facebook groups). These associations also usually have a directory where you can list yourself as a freelancer, so potential clients can find you. They also offer discounts on conferences, office supplies, and online subscriptions, and different editors’ associations offer discounts to each other’s members. There are usually different ranks for members, assigned according to experience, training, or exams, and one can move up the ranks over the years. Continue reading

Now also a member of SENSE!

It’s been a busy few months! I have finished my copyediting course at Queens University, completed a few large projects and started a new one. I will write more about these things soon.

For now, I’m happy to announce that I’ve become a member of SENSE, the Society of English-language professionals in the Netherlands. While I will remain a member of Editors Canada, it’ll be nice to have some networking opportunities and workshops closer to home. I can’t wait to attend the conference next year!

Meanwhile, I am going to meet up with some editors in Toronto in the second half of January 2019, and am already looking forward to hanging out with these colleagues. The virtual community of editors consists of truly kind, supportive people who are always ready to answer questions and help each other out. Can’t wait to meet some of them in real life! Virtual support communities are so important to the lone business owner!

I am now a member of Editors Canada!

Excited to announce that I’m now a member of Editors Canada (check out my awesome member badge at the About me page)! I have my own listing in the directory and have explored the many benefits that membership brings, including a long list of resources, training documents, and guidebooks; courses for continuous professional development; discounts on style guides, courses, and events; and of course networking opportunities such as conferences and local meet-ups. Eventually, experienced editors can qualify for certification through an exam. I’m not there yet, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, I have registered for a copyediting course at Queens University, Toronto, that begins in thirteen days!

A busy, interesting summer and some editing training up ahead!

It’s been a busy summer! I have worked on a number of large projects, including the brochure of the Lebanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale and some developmental edits of PhD-theses, and I’ve also learned some skills involved in digital ethnography by working for MotivIndex, a consumer research company based in Toronto. That was fun and a nice change from the editing work, which I have drowned in this summer (not that that’s a bad thing, but I must say I am glad that I’m finally able to breathe again, even though it’s just a little bit).

After (almost) completing two large developmental editing jobs recently, I have learned that this type of editing is very draining but also very rewarding. It takes so much effort and concentration to put myself in the author’s shoes, understand what story they are trying to tell, and suggest how that message, story, or argument can be conveyed in the clearest, most engaging, and best-structured way. While the effort is considerable, once I see how I can help improve the structure, flow, or argument of the text, I love sharing my insights with the author to see if they agree with me, and making a plan to move forward. There’s nothing better than a happy, satisfied client. Every writer benefits from  a fresh pair of eyes for their text, myself included. While it is definitely not the only type of editing that I want to do, I definitely want to keep offering this service.

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The contradictions of capital investment in the built environment

While not everyone might associate the work of David Harvey or Neil Smith, two Marxist geographers, with poetry, I must say that while reading their work, I was very often struck by its poetic quality. Consider this quote:

“Capital represents itself in the form of a physical landscape created in its own image” (Harvey, 1978, p. 124)

How did these geographers end up with sentences that carried such literary quality?

Both Harvey and Smith, Harvey’s PhD-student, tried to understand the relationship between capital and space from a Marxist perspective, and focused especially on the built environment. As it turns out, the built environment presents capitalists with an inherent contradiction: they need it, but once it has been created, it presents barriers to further accumulation. Continue reading

I got interviewed by Peerwith!

The academic services portal Peerwith has interviewed me about what it is like working for them. You can find the interview here. Some quotes:

“My work for Peerwith, which consists mostly of language editing, is now part of my business as a self-employed researcher, writer and editor, based in The Netherlands. I love my work and have not regretted my decision to leave academia, not even for one second! And in a sense, I have not left academia, because I am working with academic texts on a daily basis and I still write and publish my own journal articles.”

“Is there anything you want to say to people who are hesitant about getting support, or advice to people who are considering using the Peerwith Platform?

I would of course say go for it! A second pair of eyes makes everyone’s work better, my own included. There is no such thing as an embarrassing paper; almost everyone’s first draft looks bad. Editors want to help you, and I really enjoy improving others’ work. So go ahead and post your request; I’m sure someone will be able to help you!”