Vanessa R

Perth, Australia

“Polishing writing one word at a time.”

Vanessa R

Specialist subjects:

Consumer Behaviour Counselling Dance Drama & Theatre English Fashion Librarianship & Information Management Mental Health Women's & Gender Studies

Education:

BAS Library and Information Studies

Curtin University

1983–1987

Favorite referencing style

My favorite referencing style is APA, but only because I am most familiar with it.

Why I became an editor

I was working in an occupation that was heavily dependent on international tourism when border closures due to COVID-19 resulted in me being stood down from my job. Uncertain of what to do next, I began searching online for possible ways forward.

Proofreading came up as a career suggestion and I thought it might be a good fit for me since I am more comfortable communicating via writing than via speaking. Investigating further, I stumbled across Proofreading Academy’s Becoming A Proofreader course. Reviews of the course by past students indicated that it was a legitimate opportunity to not only learn how to proofread but also to find paid work in the field if a required grade was achieved. I decided to take a chance and enroll.

After two months of intensive study, I passed the final test, and, true to its word, Proofed invited me to sign up as a freelancer. I was delighted to accept, and so began my editing journey.

Background and experience

I have worked in both the public and private sectors, performing a variety of roles including retail assistant, library assistant, logistics hand, and market research interviewer.

While all of these jobs have required me to demonstrate both organizational and communication skills, the market research role, in particular, emphasized the latter. Every shift, I was required to speak with people whose first language was not English, and, over time, I became familiar with how they phrased things. This helped me to translate what it was they were actually trying to say.

The interviewing role was also where I experienced the importance of online connectivity, since results from the survey needed to be uploaded to a remote head office every day in order to enable the most efficient staff rostering for the following week.

I believe that the experience I gained from my previous roles helped to prepare me for the transition to work as a proofreader and editor.

Why I love proofreading and editing

The thing I love most about proofreading and editing is the feeling of satisfaction that results when I return a document to its author in a much better condition than the condition it was in when I first received it. Peeling away flawed grammar and punctuation helps to reveal the author’s message more clearly, much like how a lapidarist smooths off the rough outer layer of a gemstone to reveal its true luster.

I also love that each document presents its own challenges, so providing many opportunities to improve my skills as a proofreader. Editing is such a vast field of knowledge that there is always something more to learn.

Vanessa R

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Favorite book:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

Hobbies:

When I am not proofreading, I can regularly be found in the front yard, transforming a barren corner block into a shady oasis. I am interested in sustainable gardening methods, and I plan to add to my collection of indigenous food plants.

For "brain exercise" (in addition to that provided by proofreading) I take a daily, online French lesson.

Editing tips:

I find that an initial read-through and mark-up of the document on paper are helpful. Having a physical printout is easier on the eyes, and it helps me detect many of the more obvious errors within the first few minutes of examination. I then apply the corrections to the document via computer.

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