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!

 

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