A good editor always has work. If you love language and have a good eye for detail, you could have a secure future as an editor.
These key steps explain how to learn editing and will help you develop your career as an editor.
Ask how to learn editing from editors
The best people to give advice on how to learn editing are, of course, editors. You could contact a copy editor at your local newspaper or a nearby publishing company and ask if he or she would be willing to answer a few questions on how to learn editing, either in person or by mail.
You can also find editors on social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, which also has several groups for editors. They were all in the same position as you when they were starting out, and most will be happy to answer your questions.
Many professional editors also have blogs and will gladly respond to questions on how to learn editing. They often post about the ups and downs of their work and give a realistic picture of what a career as an editor is like.
Just remember that there is no single career path to becoming an editor, and every editor will have a different story to tell. So speak to as many editors as you can, and try to take away at least one solid piece of advice from each.
Be prepared to study
An increasing number of universities offer courses in editing. Many editors have a degree in literature, English, or journalism, but you don’t need formal qualifications to become an editor. A good basic knowledge of English is enough to get started.
If you still don’t have the confidence to begin editing training right away, you can brush up on your language skills by taking an online grammar course. You can revisit all those spelling rules, verb tenses, and punctuation marks without the pressure of having to complete the course within a set amount of time.
An online course can also allow you to learn at your own pace. If you register with EditingCamp, you will have lifetime access to an editing course you can take at home.
While many courses can teach you how to learn editing, and advanced courses can help you develop as an editor, the best way to improve your skills is to actually do the job.
Practice will definitely help you become a better editor, and good editors are highly sought after and can demand high salaries.
It can take some time before you are able to compete with the very best editors, but don’t be disheartened. Almost any business that works with written text—book publishers, newspapers, magazines, universities, businesses, charities, website developers—has to employ an editor at some point.
You can discover more about how to learn editing in an entry-level position, such as an editorial assistant. Or, if you prefer to work freelance, you could try working for an online editing services company to build up your experience.
Proofreading is also a great springboard to a career in editing. You can take online proofreading courses focused on the specific skills needed to be a proofreader, and, even if your editing career takes off, you can always offer clients proofreading as an extra service for another source of income.
The learning never stops. The very best editors are always wondering how to learn more about editing and looking for new ways to develop their skills.
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