This week’s guest post comes from freelance editor Amie McCracken.
Those moments in your life when everything falls into place, those are the times when you are happiest. But what if you can make that happen instead of waiting for it?
For the past few years I have been trying to break into the editing market, whether that meant working for a traditional publisher or freelancing or copyediting the local church newsletter. I was completely lost as to how to start. I tried a few things. I did some things I regret, including working for a vanity publisher. But I’ve learned some tricks, and now I’m a full time freelance editor. Want some insight into those tricks? I’m here to disclose. It’s nothing spectacular; you’ve probably heard it before. But it’s essential nonetheless.
Network, network, network. Everything that gave me my start was from networking. That doesn’t mean going around to other editors blogs and begging for mentorship; it doesn’t mean spamming people with your information. It means building relationships. Become friends with people. And that’s not just Facebook friends but honest friends who know personal things about each other. From there you can find out what they do. You can explain what you do. Who knows where that can lead just because people know lots of other people and they might have a cousin or friend of a friend who they could connect you with, or they might be the person you need to talk to.
There are tons of websites out there. Find exactly what kind of editing (or writing) you want to do and look for jobs. This is where you have to be careful. Before you go asking for a job somewhere, check up on them. Google is an amazing tool. Typically, just typing in a company’s name and the word ‘scam’ into Google will yield results. If you can’t find anything, go for it. Apply like crazy because there’s no other way to build up clients than to find jobs. In the beginning you might have to take a few low-paying or non-paying jobs. If it’s legit, go for it.
The Finish Line
When you’re there, you’ll know it. Since the beginning of this year things have just been falling in my lap. I still have to network and hunt – I still have to work – but the more work I find the more finds me. I’ve made my happiness; I’ve realized my dream. Go realize yours.
Some websites to check out:
Pred-ed.com to verify legitimate publishers
Linkedin.com a resume and networking site
Amie McCracken is a voracious reader. Her calling in life is editing. Her ideas tend to take over and most of the time you’ll catch her staring off into space. You can find her on her website here or on twitter.