I was thrilled when an editor I admire, Dawn McIlvain Stahl, contacted me for an interview. Dawn is the online editor for Copyediting.com, and she also owns her own copyediting business, Purple Penning.
My interview with Copyediting.com is now live—click here or visit the link below to read it. Here’s an excerpt:
What do you find satisfying about editing and copywriting?
Making other people look good. I view editing as a privilege — being invited into a writer’s “house,” so to speak, and being asked to clean it up and make it look better for their guests. With copywriting, I get to do a bit of detective work to find the business’ voice and make it appeal to their target customers.
What fortune-cookie-size advice would you give other editors interested in a freelance editing and writing career?
Start freelancing while you still have a J-O-B.
Being able to focus on building your business, rather than paying the bills, will make for an easier transition, and it will also give you the confidence you need to go out there and find new projects.
What do you consider the secret sauce in your career?
Confidence and humility. Imposter syndrome can strike any of us at any time. It’s that jolt of panic when you suddenly think, “Oh s—, I don’t know what I’m doing.” Being able to learn quickly and adapt will help you through almost any tough project and situation. Humility is also important in this business—editors are always learning, and language is always evolving; we don’t know everything, and sometimes we need help. Being able to admit that is liberating.
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Did you resonate with something I said in the interview? Do you have another question for me? Let me know in the comments. I love talking to my fellow word nerds!