Trying My Hand At Proofreading!

⭐ FREE Proofreading Service!! ⭐

Kind of. For the moment.

I’m rolling up my sleeves and getting myself into gear for the proofreading/editing job market, and I need your help!

Trent: *frets* Wait, you’re giving up on us?

No, dear. I’m not. The writing’s still going. Sit down before you get an ulcer.

Trent: *obeys*

Over the course of a long time now, the prospect for being an editor or a proofreader of some kind has crossed my path many times. In the last year and a few months, as I make it through countless piles of paperwork and meetings with school advisers and counselors about my children’s education progress, I’d been handed a lot of things to read that required signatures. As I went through the “official” forms, in the classic style that I am, I circled the problem spots (in pencil so they can erase it later) that weren’t too clear, provided suggestions, penned my John Hancock on the required lines, and returned the forms with the editions.

It’s like an itch I can’t stop myself from scratching. XD

Ash: *giggles*

Shush, you! 🙂

*ahem*

As I was saying, most of the corrections I’ve come across were simple spelling typos and missing words that might’ve been accidentally deleted because of a sensitive touchpad on a laptop (like mine).

I was asked if I was an editor to which I answered “no.” After about five of these different “official forms” through various occasions, someone made the remark “You should be an editor. We can so use someone to proofread things and do edits.”

Thus began the 2014 quest of “Writing vs. Editing” because I cannot comfortably call myself something when I’ve never done it. I’m sure you all know those people we hate for “creatively” buffing up their resumes. I really, really don’t want to be one of them.

There are a number of people online who find my knack of seeing mistakes annoying. There are a couple of people who took it in stride and didn’t mind any comments (sent in private) for anything I saw. As I bang my head on the table with massive editing oversights from small and big publishers alike, I ambushed Bitworks one night at the dining table as he watched another History show about the whole editing path after the kids had finally passed out, and I was sucking down a caffeine infused cup of green tea. XD

That would officially cross our discussions about this into the double-digits. We’ve had long, long chats about this during my last two years of college after I had visited him here in New Jersey during a Christmas break and he showed me the Editorial Floor of the Princeton Dow Jones campus. Since most of those guys worked the 8am to 5pm slots, I only saw a few people in the vast area, probably proofreading the news articles that were scheduled to go out on the 1-star edition WSJ that were going to be printed just as the 4-star edition Wall Street Journal was wrapping up on the print floor. Brownie points for those of you who know what those stars mean. 😉

People telling me that I should be an editor wasn’t just a once or twice thing. It’s pretty constant, through the years, and somewhere around 2010, I started taking it like it was the Universe telling me where it is it wanted me to go. Not that I take queues from the Universe that often, but it’s somewhat enjoyed smacking me in the back of the head whenever I don’t, so I’ve been universally-broken in that regard. I heed the “look here” calls now when it gets this… insistent.

I’m hesitant, not because I don’t think I can’t make it, but because most people telling me that “You should be an editor” do not completely understand what “Being an Editor” means. An editor doesn’t do proofreading. That’s delegated, usually, to a group of interns or assistants that the Editor manages, and they do the nitty gritty work of reading and submitting corrections, talking to the people who wrote the articles or whatever it is that was being published at the time. Then a meeting was held with the Editor to semi-finalize the corrections, and then a meeting with the Editor-in-Chief where he or she signs off on the final editions.

That’s how it goes down in a big financial publishing firm on things that aren’t fiction, which is rather cool and all, but I want to do fiction. However, I’m not limiting myself at the moment as I set out on this little adventure.

A very respected person I had the privilege of communicating via email once or twice wrote something that really stuck with me, and it’s still circulating in my head. This person said,

“My point being, if you want to edit you should pursue it. Some of us would like to write beyond that.”

The “that” referenced in that quote was talking about the guidelines that states “one must write in the grade eight capacity for your reader.” I’ve heard that too, through the many vines of people I’ve lingered around. I just thought it was some kind of an inside joke I didn’t get.

So after a few more discussions with Bitworks, a hellacious amount of research on the internet I could find time to spare for, I’m moving forward. Very carefully. Toe-testing the kiddie pool and all.

There are apparently certifications I need to get if I haven’t had a single bit of experience – which I am currently collecting materials for, actually, so I can study and take the exams – and it’s best if I have done this and have something to show for it. Right now, I don’t have anything in any official capacity.

This is where all of you come in, and why it is free. For now. I’m still rather undecided if I wanted to do this freelance on my own or work for a publisher and basically hold this service on the side for friends free-of-charge.

*hides a list of authors I would love to do this for* 😉

I’m not asking every person to give me a recommendation letter, but if you do use my service – whether it’s for a manuscript set for publication, free-reads, or even fanfiction – giving me feedback to help me either quit this or move forward would be wonderful. And if you are, indeed, a published author or someone in the field of editing, a recommendation really would be amazing.

I’m not doing this for your Elementary, Jr. High, High School, or College paper, though. Just no. Sorry. 😦

Now, for what everybody is worried about – Copyright Infringement and Protecting Your Assets.

I do believe I’m a rather trustworthy person, but just in case you’re not quite sure what to make of me and this whole “proofreading for free” conundrum, here it is:

I, Lavender Wynter and all other names I go by, will NOT distribute anything to anybody. This includes NOT showing anything – a printout, a screenshot, a blurb, or even a mention of it online/offline anywhere – unless I have your explicit consent to do so for a defined purpose. I will NOT publish/tell/hint who I work with in regards to this service. The other party, however, is not restricted to this. This is only applicable to me.

I will not tell you how you should tell your story. My purpose is to look for spelling mistakes, misused words, missing words, extra words, missing or additional punctuation not needed, and anything else you would like me to keep an open eye for. I am in no way, shape, or form trying to apply all the grammar rules to the telling of your story. You’re the artist. I’m just trying to loan you a fresh pair of eyes for mistakes we all miss in our own work as I sharpen my skills in the proofreading department.

In return, I ask that you remember I am under no obligation to write a review of your work once it is published/released. I might give you a personal opinion piece about how I feel about it if time allows in an email, but I’m not holding myself to anything. I also hope that I can approach you for a letter of recommendation or to list you as a reference if any private publishing houses are asking for a list of people I might have done work for. Again, all of this is behind the scenes and closed doors. None of this will be made public to anybody.

Chase: They might want to know how fast you can do these things.

Ah, yes. Thank you, Chase!

I can do most chapters for a story in about 24-48 hours, depending on when it is I get it and how advance the writing is (and just how big of a bomb went off in my house). I can comfortably, judging by past experience, read 140,000 words in one week and type up a document (11 pages) of mistakes by page and line number, give myself a day or two in between 2 proofreads of my document, and turn around to submit it back to you.

I am a mother of two young children, so my schedule is limited to when they are in school, I have finished my critical errands, and plagued by insomnia. Mondays through Fridays is considered a week if there aren’t national holidays like “Martin Luther King Jr., Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the like. They are also off during the summer months (and this year I’ll be traveling), Thanksgiving, and Christmas breaks, so efficiency is restricted to that.

I can offer a sample of what it is I had done for the .PDF manuscript I was given, but it will only be a screenshot because I don’t want the author to be coming after me for violating anything. The book isn’t slated to be on the bookshelves until 2016.

Before I get too ahead of myself, please do note that English is not my native language. While I can get and understand most things I’ve been handed, some things might just be beyond me. I will always ask first if I ran into something I don’t understand, but outside of that, most people think I’m American born and raised.

While I’m not charging at the moment, I’m going to give this a trial run by quarters (so this first test ends in March). If it all goes well, then I’ll go from there. It would also be awesome if I can get a signed copy/card of the work – regardless of what it is, if you’re comfortable sharing it with me.

*crosses fingers*

Here’s to hoping this works for me!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to direct them to my email: lav.wynter@gmail.com.

Thank you for your support!

 

A Little Update…

Happy New Year, my friends.

I have, unfortunately, entered 2015 with the wrong kind of bang. Truth be told, I haven’t written a single word towards a story since that 4th weekend of November, and with a project pending for February 14, 2015, it’s put me in a rather dark funk. Ever since the writing has taken back a stronghold in my life, it doesn’t like relinquishing its allotment of time – especially to things as mundane as cleaning up my house and making way for busy schedules.

Indeed, the last three weeks or so had seen, in the four walls of my very humble (and very under construction) abode, monumental amounts of cleaning. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the chosen pastime of yours truly, but Chinese New Year is coming up… And I’ve resolved myself to getting rid of things I am no longer using or will not see myself using in the future by either giving them away to people who could use them or donating them where I can – namely a lot of baby and maternity things I had kept solely for the expectation of Baby Number Three.

Hubby still hold the hope, I believe, somewhere in his heart for a Third. I can’t say I’ve completely killed it myself, but with me trying to get a foothold in moving this family – and myself – forward… a Third Child is just not in the works with our current financial means. 😦

That will require me to have a full-time paying job, some very nice medical benefits, and giving up my time for writing again. It also encompasses the possibility that I have to ditch the plans on becoming a proofreader-into-editor that I had been chewing on for the last… six months now? We’d just crossed that threshold where we could take children on vacations and long car journeys cross country without too much fuss. A new baby means another three year setback at the minimum.

Not to mention the boggling expenses of international trips to both Taiwan and Ireland are simply out of our grasp. As is, I’m looking at nearly $10k just for a family of four to go back to Taiwan once. Another will add another $2500-$3500 to the tab. Some people in this country barely make $13,500 a year, nevermind throwing most of it down for airfare.

We have come to the agreement that if we were to ever win the lottery, then by all means, I will have another child, stars permitting – because at that point, I can hire help to maintain my writing schedule, and things like $15,000 in airfare for one family trip across the Pacific Ocean doesn’t mean I have to spend years saving by never taking another vacation or not buying something nice for myself once in a while. My entire wardrobe right now consists of frayed and bleach-damaged t-shirts with an assortment of shorts and pants that should never see the light of day outside my house.

And they don’t, thankfully. I have some very worn jeans for that and then “borrow” Bitwork’s work shirts if I have to make grocery runs or drop my children off at school.

What? We share the same closet! XD

So, seeing that it’s 2015, I think the popular thing is having New Year resolutions or goals? Not that I’m a follower of trends…

I have a story to edit (still), a couple of novels to write, one short story (unless the word count runs away from me), and one inkling of something that’s been floating around in my head for a while but haven’t found solid ground to make progress yet.

Other than that, not much else. Like I said in my last post, with a pending Summer trip back to Taiwan this year, I’m pretty booked as far as expendable energy goes. And money.

And my parents are in town, sort of, until the end of January I think. This week finds them in Las Vegas for the CES convention. My father works as a consultant for a friend of his in the business and had been hired for the purpose of hopefully making some substantial connections at this convention with the other bigwigs.

And they’ll be back for my brother’s graduation. So, it’s a busy year for my parents too.

As for the lack of posting on Undisclosed Conversation, I am, unfortunately, still slaving over the editing and with the lessons learned, I’m really becoming more adamant about not publishing anything online until the whole work has been written, read, re-read, edited, read again, edited again, contemplate re-writing the whole thing, and then finally sharing. XD

Actually, A. F. Henley shared something on the wonderful processes of publishing a work last month on the 20th. By all means, read it. I love his wit, and he made it all lighthearted and stuff. It’s very encouraging, really, and I’m glad he did it at the end of 2014 going into 2015. It really does answer a lot of questions for those of you who might be wondering just what the process is. Granted, it’s different for every person, but if you’re interested, Jennifer Fallon also covered it in her How to Write a Bestseller series. She, too, has good wit – in my very humble opinion.

In case any of you are wondering if you’ll keep reading about AF Henley here, the answer is yes, here and there, much in the same way you’ve read about Bitworks, Stark-black, and Jennifer Fallon. ❤

Because a few very lovely people have pointed out and kept reminding me… it is my blog, so like it or not, these people are here to stay with me for the long haul as far as my obsession dedication goes.

I hope all of you are seeing a wonderful start to your new year. Plenty have people have voiced opinions that they’re not sorry to see 2014 go as a relatively uneasy year to get through. Mine were in 2012 and 2013, so 2014 had seen changes for the better. Like many others, I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that 2015 will be an absolute blast!

I wish all of you the best, and for those of you in the regions of the world where the wonky weather is affecting you more than it is me…

Please, be safe, and in the words of Jerry Springer, “Take care of yourself and each other.”