Everyone’s set of skills are different. It’s what makes the world go round. What you do well and I do well should complement each other. That’s a great way to keep harmony and peace in the world.
My life has been centered around the written word and training my eye to see discrepancies, typos, inconsistencies, errors, grammar, spelling, and format. I guess that makes me the bad guy to many writers. But I also wear a white hat. I want to present someone else’s thoughts, prose, poetry, songs, and business/advertising materials to show off the author, not the editor. I’m in the background, and I enjoy that role.
Just in the past year or so, I’ve finally finished that novel that had been collecting dust for some time, started a series of novellas, and started using my own by-line on fiction, my first and true love, instead of newspaper articles and a short, yet heartfelt, acknowledgement when I was the “ghost”.
Ghost writing is an art, and not cut out for all writers. If you sound like yourself, you’ve missed the point. You have to sound like the author, using his/her terminology, “voice”, mannerisms, and factual material (I still check the facts a second time, though; ingrained in me, I guess).
Fiction has let my heart soar free! It’s what I really, really want to do. But ghost writing, editing, proofreading, etc., pays. Fiction, not so much. Yet, I believe if I stick with it and learn to market (not one of my skills), it will grow, evolve, and I’ll become what I’m supposed to be in this life.
It’s definitely a younger person’s market. The more you know about online social media, advertising, publishing, etc., the better your chances are. A year ago I didn’t know a tweet from a facebook page. I never had time for social media. Now I tweet, post, blog, write and still pursue my one-woman crusade of fixing all the typos in the world. Each time I learn something new, I progress a little closer to realizing my dream. And the most wonderful part of it all? I’ve met the most wonderful people who encourage, cajole, laugh, and commiserate. Wow! I don’t have to hide in a basement or a bunker anymore with no contact to the outside world. It’s great!
I end my little blog today with something I have said many times before, but I keep saying it because you never know when someone will read me for the first time and I can help them stop feeling guilty for the errors they missed, the words that were out of place and left out, using “form” when it should be “from”, or realizing “you’re” is a contraction for “your are”, not “your” ____ (any noun will work).
YOU CAN’T PROOFREAD YOUR OWN COPY. It is a physical, organic impossibility as the function of the brain. Your brain sees what you think is there. After all, you wrote it, and therefore, it’s ingrained in your brain. You may not know it. You may think after a while you won’t remember it, but you do…on a subconscious level.
Editors can be the bad guys, but they’re an important asset in making the author look good.
That said, who will proofread for me?