Since posting last week that I’m looking to up my work hours, either with a full-time job or full-time freelancing, I’ve had several wise friends suggest that I sit down and think about what kind of job I really want and then work for that job.
Of course, this has be within reason. My real dream job of being Neil Patrick Harris’s super-secret girlfriend is never going to happen. (sob) And my daily hope that I’ll open the mail to find a large check from a long-lost, fabulously wealthy relative probably isn’t going to happen either.
So what do I really want to do?
I want to be an editor. I love reading other people's words and helping make them better. I live for finding errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation – it’s like a constant treasure quest. I read The New Yorker each week and learn from their editing style. I read Strunk & White at least once a year, just for fun.
So I’ve decided I want to set up shop as an editorial consultant, offering my services to freelance writers, academics, bloggers (ahem), companies that don’t want to hire a full-time editor – pretty much anyone who wants help making their writing more polished and professional.
My concern, though, is whether enough companies and writers place enough value on editorial services. So many people call themselves writers, and have great ideas to get out there, yet haven’t got the first idea of proper punctuation or grammar. I cringe every time I see someone write “her and I.”
Has today’s language become so informal, so texting based, that no one even notices improper grammar? I hope not.
I know this won’t be an overnight career change for me, and I’ll keep on with my regular writing gigs in the meantime, but I’m going to work on getting the word out. I’ll be posting on Craig’s list and on UT’s job boards. I’ll be spreading the word among my freelance writer friends and folks who run their own consulting shops. Basically, I’m going to go against my basic nature and become an outgoing, glad-handing self promoter.
So if you want some help making your writing better, or know of someone who does – like another writer or consultant – please pass my name along. References and rates available upon request.