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One more chore off my lists!

So, I’ve finally finished updating my new website, and this is it!  After two life-changing decisions—moving to Raleigh in January to return to work at the state Museum of History and deciding to re-establish my editorial services business—several lists of chores followed.  Getting a website back online was near the top, of course, but it just kept sliding from the top.

Today, however, I am proud to announce that I’ve finished fine-tuning most of the pages and that I feel confident enough to announce they’re ready for review.  So, take a tour and let me know if you find any mistakes, major or minor.  I still have a couple of pages to post, including a payments page and the “‘instant’ help” page, so you can skip those—I’ll announce when they are ready—but, as they say, have at the rest!

One of the delays in getting a presence back online was the debate over continuing to use an HTML-based website or following the industry and moving to a content management system (CMS).  I finally opted to switch and to use WordPress (which I’ve used for years as my blogging platform) for this version of my website.  In addition, I decided to promote my blog address, “anEditor’s Blog”, to serve as my home on the web instead of reviving the old “the-freelance-editor” URL I’d been using since the late ’90s.  In line with those decisions, I will, however, be keeping my formal business name as the-freelance-editor.  Enough change is enough!

Key to the new site are my specialty pages  (you can access them with “Why use a freelance editor?” on the main menu bar, above, and then sliding down to “My specialties” and hovering for the page line-up  or  by using the more-standard menu list at the bottom of the page) (or you can be lazy and simply click the following links)  for the so-called divisions of the-freelance-editor:  the-blog-editorthe-history-editorthe-young-adult-editor,  and  the-freelance-ghostwriter.  I’ll be adding more detailed sub-pages under them eventually, but these get the point across for now.

I guess the race has begun!  Thank you, all, for your patience and continuing support.  And, let me hear about those errors—you know I’d let you know about yours!

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
e-mail: editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
text: 832-233-0041

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You just never know . . .

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but the-freelance-editor is once again located in Raleigh, North Carolina!  No, I never thought I would be back, either (I never even thought I would leave Orlando), but when a good opportunity knocked I could not resist the temptation.

The whirlwind that brought me back began shortly before Thanksgiving last year, after finding out that an editorial position had opened up at the Museum of History. This was not the same position I vacated roughly thirteen years ago, when I left to help care for aging relatives outside and around Orlando, but it was a comparable position—working primarily with the museum’s events and programs staff, its membership and fund-raising arms, and its Web presence.

After lots of encouragement (and just a little pause), I applied for the position, and a week before Christmas, I was driving to Raleigh, not just for an interview but also to revisit the setting and its current players. In what I gather is a customary feeling, I did not feel I had interviewed well; however, I had been able to see how the museum and the city had changed and to catch up with a friend or two. Surprisingly, I did get news&#0151and just a few days later: I had made the short list and the decision would be contingent largely on the comments of references. While I took that as a promising omen, I was beginning to wonder what those references had said as Christmas week . . .  then New Years week . . .  then another week dragged by. But the call—the text, actually—did come: “How many days would you need to get here?”

I’m not sure they expected me so quickly, but I booked a hotel room for the following week and drove back to start the next Tuesday, January 15!

What this means to my existing and future clients is that I’ll be more in tune with the editorial world, again. While I will be working as a full-time editor at the museum, I will no longer have to change gears from accounting during the day to editing at night; I’ll be editor-oriented at all times. And, while I’ll be getting back into the swing of things for a few months, I do plan to get back to you—slowly at first, by working with bloggers and business clients, I suspect; then, graduating back to lengthier, more in-depth projects.

Thanks for all the help, all the support, and all the patience during my transition. I’m as anxious to get back to my passion as all of you!

Hoping you’re finding yours, too,

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
e-mail: editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
text: 832-233-0041 (temporary)

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Busy in the background

For those of you who have noticed (and wondered about it), my absence from public involvement can be attributed to two things:  first, the time that my full-time job takes through the week—and a consequential recharge/relaxation time  I  take over the weekends—and, second, a couple of projects that I’ve agreed to take on in my “spare” time.  That said, if  you  have a project you need help with and you don’t need too quick a turnaround, seek me out.  By the way, you’ll note some new contact information below.

For now, I hope you’re having a relaxing yet productive summer,

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
phone: 407-495-4801 (temporary)
text: 832-233-0041 (temporary)

I may be MIA for the time-being,
but don’t forget about me!

 

Pushing back my possible return

I’ve just accepted an employment situation that will require me to postpone my return to business—you know, old dogs learning new tricks takes time!  With this new occurrence in mind, I’m currently looking at launching my revival later this year or early in 2012.  That will allow me the time I need to continue with behind-the-scenes work (as outlined in my previous post) and to continue tending to some additional development ideas, ideas that shall remain secret for now and until the rest of my chore list is in place.

Thanks for your patience; and, have a great fall season,

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
PO Box 1168, Orlando, FL 32802
phone: 407-495-4801 (temporary)

Watch for my possible return to business
late this year  or  early in 2012!

 

Moving forward on my “revival”!

I just wanted to provide all you followers with a quick update on my continuing thoughts about reviving the-freelance-editor.

To date, I’ve worked primarily on this blog, getting a design in place and adjusting the sidebar to fit my new goals and objectives. At this point, I’m pretty happy with it, so let me know of any errors you notice or any information you think is missing. Behind the scenes, I’ll be working to refine some aspects of search engine optimization that are problematic in blog-based Web sites without appropriate attention . . . but that won’t affect you or your experience!

The next four chores that you will notice are

  1. finishing work on my new “writing emergency” site at www.anEditor.com, where anyone will be able to hire me for issues and problems that require quick turnarounds;
  2. getting a new contact form set up and in place;
  3. improving my social media presence on Twitter and LinkedIn; and
  4. updating my primary Web site at www.the-freelance-editor.com—you’ll see that I’ve made a minimal start on the home page.

I’ll keep you up to date as changes take place, especially changes relevant to my second chore; that way, you’ll be able to start signing up for updates via these blog posts.

Thanks for your interest and continuing support,

Stephen, the-freelance-editor.com
editorial –at– Im Your Editor –dot– com
PO Box 1168, Orlando, FL 32802
phone: 407-495-4801 (temporary)

Watch for my possible return to business on October 17, 2011!

 

But sometimes the bite heals

. . . even if that process is a slow one. Have no doubt it’s been a rough few years,  but  I am currently exploring the possibility of staging a comeback!

I’ve learned a lot since my last post—about social media and technology in general, and even about the economy and reality!  And I feel, maybe the time could be right . . .  I’ll see; or, rather, we’ll see. For now, please excuse me as I review and update my primary Web site and get this blog back up and running.

Look forward to more news over the next few weeks.

Stephen Evans, www.the-freelance-editor.com
editorial -at- ImYourEditor -dot- com
407-495-4801 (temporary)

Reality bites!

December 25, 2009 1 comment

It’s an international phenomenon that I’ve done my best to ignore—for a couple of years. But, I am finally forced to face reality: The world of professional editing is in a state of transition. And, I can easily identify three causes for this phenomenon.

The first cause is a continuation of the desktop publishing transition that began in the late 1980s. Only at that time, the so-called desktop publishers (who believed themselves to be “designers,” even though they seldom knew anything about publication design, graphic design, or instructional design, by the way) still acknowledged that they needed editors. Today’s desktop publishers—indeed, I can dare say all publishers—do not see the importance of calculating proper word choice, creating a logical arrangement for the flow of ideas, applying rules of consistency, or adhering to traditional grammatical constructions; nor do they even acknowledge the many other minor and major flaws that a trained, professional editor strives to identify and correct. Read practically any magazine or newspaper; visit nearly any Web site; scan almost any book—and I bet you’ll find an error of some sort.

Just as people have come to think they can put together a brochure, a Web site, or a newsletter without the need of a trained, professional designer, now the presumption is that they can complete the task by clicking on the spell-check button and eliminate the need for an editor.

The second cause is related to the recent demise of the publishing industry. Book publishers started this trend nearly a decade ago with the closing of imprints and the eventual merging of entire houses. But more recently, magazines and newspapers have been forced to lay off whole departments, expand their Web presences, and in several cases cease print production. These closures have led to a glut of editors who, granted, know their specialized aspects of the publication world but who are not trained or experienced in seeing, analyzing, deconstructing, and re-stitching the proverbial big picture, the whole scope of a project.

A sad tangent of this phenomenon is that a majority of readers no longer even expect properly edited copy. They take in written text, mistakes and all, viewing it without acknowledging or analyzing what message is conveyed or how the message is conveyed.

The third cause is another sad facet of the current world economy. Every person (at least some days, it seems like every person) who is out of a job and has a computer at home thinks he or she can edit. After all, these folks were “pretty good at spelling” in grade school; they got straight A’s in high school English; they had a dissertation published. These amateurs are now marketing themselves as “editors”—and, while I’ll admit that some might be able to do a passing job, they will never equal a trained professional who has read histories of the English language, who has analyzed word etymologies, who has studied the Chicago Manual of Style or the Associated Press Stylebook or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and who can organize intellectual jargon or unorganized thought into understandable strings of words and textual images.

Today’s writers have unfortunately not learned to appreciate the value of a good editor. Yes, I still believe anyone can write, but no one’s writing is automatically readable, unquestionably logical, inherently grammatical, or necessarily even clear—and making it so is not a writer’s job. A writer’s job is to write; worrying about the technicalities is just another distraction to his or her creativity.

Other causes underly the problems of today’s professional editors, but these are the three that are forcing me to wander from my passion for the time being. I ignored the initial exodus from American clients that I saw in the fall of 2007; I could do so because I still had international clients (who were primarily based in Australia and Europe) to keep me busy. However, when those clients—and, some of those relationships went back many, many years—fell away for lower bids, I had to think about the writing on the wall. I still managed to ignore the inevitable until just a couple of weeks ago . . . until I was forced to take on a full-time position in an unrelated field, because it’s all I could find to keep a roof over my head and food on the table.

If writers don’t want my help to make their work the best it can be and if readers don’t demand quality material, what’s left for me to do?

Am I bitter? Well, okay, yes—maybe a little. But for the most part, I’m disappointed that I won’t be practicing the profession I’ve trained for and practiced in for more than thirty years; and I’m saddened that I’ll not be able “to help writers say what they want to say to the audience they want to reach” (that’s been my slogan for several years, in case you don’t know me) or to protect the readers that make up those audiences from having to stumble over confusing sections of unedited text. On the other hand, as the eternal optimist, I’m also expectant, because I know I’ll be back when the dust settles and the economy improves and respect for the English language returns.

Until then, don’t rely entirely on your word processor’s spelling checker and be wary of misleading, inexperienced “editors”—they may be cheap, but you might get exactly what you pay for!

Stephen Evans,
www.the-freelance-editor.com