Becoming an Editor: My Story

One day my boss at the publishing house where I worked asked me, “Would you be interested in following a production editor's career path?” 

“I don’t think I have the patience for it,” I told him. "And I'd prefer to stick with the path I'm on." 

Why did I make that decision? I liked what I was doing—editorial process management. I worked with editors, interacted with other disciplines like sales, marketing, production, and design, and created workable publishing plans for books and Bibles. I also wasn't sure I had the patience to sit at a computer all day. 

Eventually, I was an executive managing editor, supervising coworkers in both editorial and marketing-related positions along the way. 

But that didn’t mean I didn’t want to edit. I did! I took an editing course and did well. I soaked up everything I could from the experienced and skilled editors I worked with, in both production and acquisition. At one time I led an in-house team that provided editing services to the sales and marketing departments, and I tackled some of that work myself. I trained editorial assistants. And I loved all those aspects of my job and those experiences. In addition, I was permitted to freelance edit books on a non-compete basis.

Fast-forward to 2011, and it was time to not only move closer to family, which meant giving up my long-time job, but to…wait for it…sit at a computer most of every day! I was finally ready to edit full-time; I do have the patience for it!

I launched Bloom in Words Editorial Services in fall of 2011, and I love it. I continue to learn—to "become"—through each experience, by reading books on writing and editing, by occasionally attending writers' conferences, and from both freelance and in-house editors who send me projects.

I’m sometimes asked how to become an editor. The path is different for everyone. Mine launched when I was given a temporary job at a publishing house that turned into a decades-long career. But this is my advice: search the internet with the words How to become an editor. You’ll find scores of articles, like this one. And if you want to take some courses, look for sites like The Christian Pen.

If you have an aptitude for editing (or proofreading, a great way to start), I believe you will uncover it with every effort and opportunity you take.

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