It's hard to make a living as a writer. Even if you're writing in many different genres, churning out fiction and web content as well as articles on the Group of Seven and ad copy, you might still find yourself coming up short in your budget. If that's the case, you might be thinking about getting a day job. Before you do, you should know that taking on some editing work can make up the difference. Read on to find out more about what an editor does.
Editors are the gatekeepers of the literary world. They're the people who check over incoming articles and books, looking for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, anachronisms, factual errors, and formatting issues - anything that can go wrong with a piece of writing. Only once a piece has passed an editor's scrutiny will it be posted on the internet or published in a nature magazine. When you submit to a publisher, magazine, or newspaper, it's the editor who has the final say.
Many editors do their editing work as a day job. They come into an office at a magazine or publishing company and read articles and manuscripts all day. Sometimes it will be their job to make notes on the piece and pass them off to the writer, who will make the necessary corrections. At other times the editor will be reading to determine whether a piece on Toronto artist should have a spot in their publishing lineup. These types of editors may also assign specific content to staff writers.
There are also some editors who do their editing work at home. These are called freelance editors and they are hired by writers who need some help finding the flaws in their own work and fixing them before they submit the piece to a publisher. This is a good job for you if you also do other work, such as writing training manuals or writing spec stories and articles for magazines.
Not every writer would make a good editor. Editors need to be very knowledgeable about spelling, grammar, and formatting. They also have to have a wide knowledge base on everything from kitchen utensils to safe neighborhoods so they can spot obvious factual errors, and they also have to be patient and thoughtful enough to criticize a work without hurting the writer's feelings. If you think you have all these qualities, you can take an editing class to get started.
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