TSL is looking for an Editor or Proof Reader

Apr 18, 2024 | Announcements

A usual career path to becoming an editor is to take a course in copy editing, then you start working on proof reading. If you do well there, you graduate to copy editing. If you do well there, you can graduate to developmental editing.

Here is a website that has a pretty good outline of the skills necessary for an editor in the publishing industry. https://www.tealhq.com/skills/editor Looking at the above career path, you can see that not all the skills are necessary at the beginning.

To start with, the following would be good:

  • Technical proficiency with Word, including track changes, formatting, styles
  • Very good language and grammar proficiency
  • Attention to detail and gaining a sense of satisfaction from that
  • Knowledge of the teachings

I think it’s important for people to have a realistic understanding of what is required. Many people who aspire to be writers are not necessarily a good fit as proofreaders or copy editors. They are more interested in a creative process, whereas proofreading and basic copy editing may not provide much opportunity for creativity. The focus there is on details that might be relatively uninteresting for a creative person. If you find the Chicago Manual of Style to be interesting reading, this could be a job for you.

When you get to the level of developmental editing, there is more opportunity for creative input into the work, while still maintaining all the attention to detail in the previous level. This level needs a really excellent knowledge of the teachings as well as the ability to maintain someone else’s voice in the editing process. The work on attunement with the masters or messenger is very important. This level of work also requires the humility to be able to refrain from inserting your own concepts or modes of speech or thought into the text. You have to be able to get your ego out of the way: you are helping the author say it their way rather than changing things to the way you would say them. You have to be able to resist the temptation to “improve” what Mother or the master said.

There is the possibility of paid work at some time. But in the publishing industry, I think it is often the case that people start with unpaid internships to gain very necessary experience and are only offered paid work when they have demonstrated the skills and experience necessary to perform at a professional level. In our case, we call it volunteering rather than unpaid internships, but the concept is similar. If/when people show they are performing at a professional level equivalent to our current paid staff, there isn’t any reason why they couldn’t also be paid. But it may take quite a period of volunteer work and study/education to reach that level.

As in any profession, a significant investment in training and gaining experience is necessary to make the grade. A formal course in copy editing could be valuable for someone wanting to work with us as an editor. People who are adept at learning through self-study with books may be able to learn what they need that way. This book is good: https://www.amazon.com/Copyeditors-Handbook-Publishing-Corporate-Communications/dp/0520286723/ It is based on CMS and also includes a lot of practical advice about the actual work of editing.