Life is often not what we expect. All of us experience hardship or trials and tribulations in some shape or form in our lives, but I have learnt to look for opportunity in adversity and it was my fourth redundancy that set me on the path of adult study, which has opened up a whole new world for me.
We often talk about the treasures of life; the pearls and gems, if you like, such as family and friends or experiences. Without an irritant, pearls do not form in an oyster. In fact, it is the oyster’s natural defence to produce nacre to encase the irritant that transforms something such as a grain of sand into a marvellous treasure. I have found it is when I am most challenged, that I discover the hidden talents I have and tears can turn to joy.
The skills I have learnt while studying for my Diploma in Proofreading and Editing have been many and varied and have aided me in setting up a sole trader business. This business, whilst small, has given me opportunities I had never dreamt would come my way and broadened my horizons. I have met and mingled with amazing people; heard and recorded their stories and felt like a human catapult as a passenger in a late model Jaguar car which went from zero to 100kph in under four seconds! Life has become thrilling, exhilarating and sometimes scary!
I began my dream of being a freelance writer in March 2019. I had no previous experience, but loved expressing myself on paper and friends and family often said, “You paint a picture with words. You should be a writer.” So, after being made redundant and enrolling in the Proofreading and Editing course, I decided to “go for it”!
Ironically, initially I had approached a Magazine Editor to see if any proofreading jobs were available, before I enrolled in this course. She informed me SHE needed a writer and said, “Would you be up for that?” I said, “Yes, absolutely!” So, she gave me five stories to write covering various genres to test my ability and then welcomed me as a freelance writer for her Magazine.
So, I can hear you thinking, “Hmmm, what’s that got to do with the Proofreading and Editing Course?” Well, my plan was to incorporate proofreading as part of my business, so that I can have the best of both worlds, i.e. be able to express myself as a writer and also contract my services as a proofreader. I also currently work as an office administrator part-time.
Learning the art of proofreading and editing has made me look upon my writing in a different way. I now see it from an Editor’s perspective, so my writing has definitely developed. My Editor has also commented that my stories are grammatically and spelling-wise very accurate, so she knows that every time I submit a story for consideration, editing time for her and her team is minimal. Because of this, she increased the “payment per word” to reflect how little editing is required. This is a direct result of my study.
As a sole trader I had to set up my stationery and invoicing etc., which I did using pretty basic templates from Word with a twist. I have been working on a new name and logo for my business and submitted these as part of Assignment 11. The tutor gave valuable feedback on these designs, which I incorporated into the finished stationery.
Before I started to study I was already pretty tech savvy, so had the equipment needed to run a small business. The course has reinforced exactly what is required and provided fresh insights.
So, for those of who may be toying with the idea of study, but lack confidence my advice is to “seize the day”. You will never really know what you are capable of without taking a leap of faith.
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