I attended an EAC networking event last night for students and new editors. I walked out of there with a lot to think about. I was heartened to meet so many bona fide (read: gainfully employed!) editors in so many different fields, and I was inspired to think of myself as an entrepreneur after speaking with editor Franklin Carter, who works in the corporate world. “Go where the money is,” he implored, and I’m heeding his advice. To be a freelance editor, not only do I need to hone my editing skills, but I need to study entrepreneurship, marketing, and sales.
Another interesting tidbit: I met several writers last night who do some editing but who consider themselves writers first. Stereotypically, this is often the case — writers do some editing to pay the bills. I’m a rarer bird: an editor first. I think of what I do as tending the garden for the gardener. The plot (pun intended) isn’t mine, and I didn’t do any of the planting, but while the gardener rests, I’m going to toil in the garden until it’s on the bloom, ready to fully experience. I think being an editor first, as opposed to being a writer, will bode well for me in a corporate environment.
It occurs to me that becoming work-ready is a journey consisting of a series of steps taking me closer and closer to my target. In the beginning, I was getting ready for a car trip, packing up what I had on hand. I soon reached the highway, and it wasn’t long before I could see the upcoming city lights. I circled the city outskirts for a bit, wanting to embrace it all, before realizing that if I didn’t take an exit, I wasn’t going to experience anything. Now I’m heading into a new-to-me neighbourhood where I’m hoping to find my peeps. I’m sure there will be some dead ends, some one-ways that will mess me up, some new acquaintances that won’t last. But I’m in the ‘hood, and I’m ready to take care of business.