In my freelance editing/writing journey, I am still in the very early stages… I have worked on two manuscripts (one full length, one just the first 5 chapters). Already though, I can see that this is something I’m really going to enjoy doing.
Personally, I feel that our education system fails us in quite a few areas. Drilling trigonometry into our brains but failing to teach us about investing and basic financial responsibility, for example. (I have actually heard college-aged “adults” react with shock and awe when told they have to actually PAY for credit cards… I’m dead serious.) Another area is grammar and spelling. Even for me… I have been an OBSESSIVE reader since I learned how to read. I have wanted to be an author since the age of 4. But if it weren’t for my passion for reading, I wouldn’t know half the things I know. I learned about grammar and spelling by reading a lot–by seeing words spelled correctly on the page, and seeing punctuation used properly on the page.
But even though I might know where a comma goes, I can’t explain WHY. Because it wasn’t taught to me–not well, anyway. I just know these things innately from reading so much. So–I have to look up a lot of things while editing. I’ll see a comma and be fairly certain it isn’t used properly, but since it’s just a hunch based on my personal experiences I have to double check. Or capitalizing certain words… “the South West region”, for example… I’ll have a feeling that it isn’t right, but I have to look it up to be sure.
This might sound tedious or annoying to some, but I absolutely love it. ! I love to learn about language, and I’m so excited to be finding out all of these new things about grammar and punctuation. I realize that might be terribly nerdy or just absolutely ludicrous to most people, but that is the life of an editor and/or writer, I suppose. 🙂
I could honestly get lost in the writing/reference section at the bookstore. I desperately want the Webster’s grammar and punctuation reference guide. Perhaps that will be my next Amazon purchase… hmm… !