In 1999 or there about, I discovered my dream job. It allowed me to combine what I love to do most – read – with my skills learnt in college. I became an editor. Of course now I realise that I was a freelance editor, but it was something I could do from home. I communicated with my superiors and my authors via email. It was something I enjoyed doing as I found it rewarding to help peoples’ dreams come true.
I also know that it is something I’m damn good at. I never understood why I wasn’t promoted to a higher position, as I aspired to, but now I can look back and realise that it’s because they had so few who were good at what I did.
A long-since lost friend got me into editing through a small publisher she’d been working for. That publisher went south after maybe a year of work, if that. I swiftly migrated to another publisher which also went south shortly after I joined. (No there was no trend, so don’t think I’m bad luck or something.) One of the other editors I’d struck up a friendship with tossed me a life line and I joined the publisher she went with and had bought a stake in. I knew I could trust Liz and was happy working with her. At the same time, my original friend Leslie had begun her own publishing company with a friend of hers so I was editing for them as well. It’s not as difficult as one might think to work two freelance editing jobs.
I have edited a wide variety of stuff. Everything from a children’s series set in Australia to erotica involving BDSM. I’ve even pissed off a writer who refused to make changes after having a review written on an unedited manuscript. Liz backed me up 100% on that one, too. I even edited her work which was quite possibly the scariest edit I’ve ever done.
So where does this all get me? A bit fat goose egg at the moment. I know what your first question would be… it’s the same as everyone else. Why don’t I work for a traditional “real” publisher? Well, first of all, the publishers I worked for are just as real as any other. People buy their books same as any others. Second, and more importantly, when I did the freelance work, I didn’t have to move. I have no desire whatsoever to set foot in New York City, other than running from one flight to another. Ninety percent of the editing jobs for publishers are in New York City.
Now here I am stuck with an unattainable dream job and a shitty real job.