Editor & writer at Liz Jones Editorial Solutions. The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) APM, mentor & newsletter commissioning editor. Often needs coffee, worries a lot. Likes trees, buildings, camping & road trips.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I left university with a degree in architecture, but following a year working for an architect in Kuala Lumpur, I decided to follow my love of books and start a career in publishing. I managed to get a job as an editorial assistant for a children’s book publisher. I later worked for another children’s publisher, then moved into educational publishing and finally adult reference. After ten years in-house I was a senior editor, but I was ready to try something new and decided the time was right to go freelance. Since then (2008) I’ve worked full-time from home. I specialize in copy-editing and proofreading for a range of nonfiction clients, including publishers, agencies, businesses, and individuals.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I help get the children ready for school, then as soon as my husband takes them out I settle down to write for 30 minutes to an hour. (I write novels and short stories.) After that, I go upstairs to my office and settle down to paid work. I usually have a list of tasks to complete, focusing on several projects. I’m a regular proofreader for an agency that produces technical articles, and often I start by working on a small piece or two for them. Then I usually have some longer projects on the go, and I divide the rest of my day between those, in blocks of two or three hours. I take a break every half hour or so to check email and social media, as well the news (if I can bear it). At three o’clock I walk to collect the children from school, then look after them while my husband goes out to teach music. Once I’ve put the children to bed, I either relax or go back and finish any outstanding bits of work. Finally, I might go for a late-night swim! Or just watch a film.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
My set-up’s quite simple. A MacBook and an extra screen, plus Word, of course. I also use InDesign for editing for some of my clients. Oh, and I swear by my standing desk, which has changed my working life, as I hardly ever have back pain anymore.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
Read, walk, run or swim. Hang out with the children, who both ask great questions! Talk about creative pursuits with my husband.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. – Douglas Adams
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
This is a personal one, but I’m currently working on the second draft of my third novel. I’ve written two, but I think they were just warm-ups. Perhaps this one will be better! I love writing, but it’s hard – it takes a lot of stamina. I’ve learned a lot about being an editor through pursuing my own writing – and I hope I’m more sympathetic towards authors!
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
I love using InDesign – it’s an amazing bit of kit.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
Find out as much as you can about the industry to make yourself stand out, and invest in good training. Also, consider joining an editorial society (such as the SfEP) – a great source of training, support and ideas.