Thursday, August 23, 2012

Learning about Ourselves

When I began my editing business a few months ago, I approached it like a two-pronged pitchfork. One prong being a content consult and the other prong a proofread only. Two approaches, two different fees. Made total sense. A content consult is much more in depth and takes much more time; therefore, it costs more. A proofread is not as in depth and doesn't take as much time; therefore, it costs less.

This all made total sense, that is, until I received my first proofread only edit . . . and discovered I am not a proofreading editor. Because when I finished the "proofread only" edit, my client's manuscript had just as many notes and rewrite suggestions as when I tackle a content consult, and it took me just as much time . . . because I had given a content consult, not a proofread only. I simply cannot "proofread only." So I had to adjust my business. Might this mean I receive fewer clients? Sure. Not everyone wants a content consult or is willing to pay for one.

But when revising my own manuscripts (and they look like this while doing so . . .)


 . . . it's no surprise when I edit someone else's manuscript online, it looks much the same.

So I updated my editing services to reflect what I learned about myself. And it's interesting, isn't it? Learning new things about ourselves, I mean, when we think we have ourselves all figured out. Have you learned anything surprising about yourself lately?

18 comments:

  1. Yes, it is good to learn stuff about yourself. Not sure I have anything earth shattering that I've learned about myself lately.

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  2. If you stop learning things about yourself I guess that would mean you've stopped growing and that would be bad.

    It's good to know what you can and can't do, though I do wonder what the reaction was of your client who just wanted a proof read and received a content edit. Hopefully he's able to take your wonderful suggestions into consideration.

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    1. My proofreading only description used to read that I would include general rewrite suggestions and such, but even so, it was difficult for the client to receive all my notes, but I did explain what I'd done and why. It was a learning experience for both of us, for sure.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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  3. Having self-awareness is a wonderful thing! And you're smart in business, too.

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  4. Well, I'd like to recommend your work! Very in-depth and a surprisingly quick turn around all for a fair price. Thanks for your work!

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    1. Thank YOU, Rosi, for those very kind words! It was such a pleasure working with your writing. I find myself mulling about Freddy and hoping I meet him again--in a published book! :-)(And just for clarity, Rosi was not the proofread turned content edit...)

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  5. Proofreading is right up my alley. Content editing is not. So even if I'm asked to only read for content, I find myself proofreading instead. :)

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  6. I hate editing, lol. I wish I knew magic to just write and then POOF! It's perfect:-) Maybe it's b/c I grade so many papers at school every day that I'm sick of it by the time I get home.

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  7. I find editing fascinating and completely understand not just being able to proof read. It's nearly impossible for me not to edit for content- plus, the author can choose not to use your suggestion, but also be open to the idea that it might make it a better book in the end. It's so funny, because I used to hate having to edit- but after almost a year of plugging away at it with my co-author, I now find it to be sort of fun- like fitting the pieces of a puzzle together, when you get the words right and that perfect sentence emerges, it's such a great feeling! ~ Jess

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  8. It's always good to learn new things about ourselves, IMO! Too often, there is an opportunity to learn new things like this, but people are too stubborn to acknowledge them and plunder on, usually for the worst. Hope your editing business flourishes even more than before now that you know content editing is your niche! :)

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  9. Greetings!

    I'm hopping over from GUTGAA and thought I would visit some blogs before the fun begins. Nice to meet you...you have a lovely blog!

    Donna L Martin
    www.donnalmartin.com
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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  10. That's great, Barbara! I believe we're always learning things about ourselves. And I think the most important part of a ms is the content. SO that's great that's your strong point, and I agree it's a lot more work. I get that with all the beta reading I do. The proofreading is the easy part. ;)

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  11. It's great that you learned this and made the adjustment. I don't do much freelance editing presently (well, any, really), but I found pretty much the same thing: while I had/have the "two-pronged" approach, my clients were always wanting the content edit. I don't think I ever had a proofread-only client.

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  13. I'm glad your editing business is doing so well. The fact that you can't proofread only, is a sign that you are an editor rather than a copy editor. (That's not to say that copy editors aren't invaluable. We have one in our critique group, and she is so eagle-eyed about punctuation and lapses in logic that it puts the rest of us to shame!)

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  14. That's so interesting. I think I'd do the same thing. I wouldn't be able to shut off my editor!

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  15. What a great adventure you've entered. Reading and editing other people's work is always so fascinating to me. Like you, I'd be hard put to ignore things that needed changing to make a manuscript stronger. Good to make those discoveries and adjust.

    Good luck!

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  16. that makes a lot of sense -- you want to make sure you're doing work that fits your needs as well as your clients' needs :)

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