What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Most Unlikely Result -- Intern '11, 1


An intern from a local college worked with me during this last school semester — a coed, as the vernacular goes, or went. This intern, we’ll call her “Colleen,” wanted to find out about the world of editing, and she’d receive two hours of college credit for doing so: 10 to 14 hours per week for about 12 weeks, soaking up the heady Land on Demand corporate atmosphere.

Colleen is the third intern who’s worked with me over the last six or so years. What’s made this hosting-of-intern slightly different is that Nicole is between my sons’ ages. Spending this amount of time over the last few months with someone in college — while my two are as well — was interesting. I think I was well prepared.

I'll discuss the internship in more detail later. Colleen and I both were required to write summaries of the experience to complete the process (and I needed to provide a number/letter grade), so maybe I’ll mine those writings for some future postings. My contribution was more of a strengths-and-weaknesses assessment.

Another intent of a perhaps future arc (ugh) on the internship would be to try to move back to where this blog mostly started: discussions of work-desk issues. Way too much miscellania these days.

Before the internship was over, I asked Colleen to write a blog posting on her experience, which follows:

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I have done the impossible (improbable at the very least) and completed an English major in two years. On top of all my regular work, I chose to register for an internship to experience the life of an editor. Along the way I have gained a huge respect for copyeditors and proofreaders. Someday I hope to call the work mine.

This semester just happened to also be the time when I am working on my senior project, a mini-thesis, if you will. Working as an editorial intern for roughly 14 hours a week added to my 18-credit-hour class load has definitely taught me how to organize my time. I will say that the organization skills for my project have been spurred forward by my work with Bob. I’ve been exposed to countless styles of writing and formatting, and have found strengths and flaws in all of them. I would like to think that these observations have shown through in my own writing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I were stuck in my own ways as a writer—I am an 82-year-old woman stuck in a 21-year-old body, fifty cats and all.

It would be nice to be able to apply everything that I have learned to each of my assignments for class, but who am I kidding? Switching from MLA to Chicago is a challenge in itself, let alone having the added stress of Bob follow my work with his own. In the beginning, I assumed that I would get faster the more comfortable I became with the work of an editor. I stand corrected. . . . He has me always double-checking my work, and I’m right most of the time, but sometimes I remain lodged in my old ways. I will say that one of my proudest moments was when Bob commented, “I passed the ‘Colleen inspection.’” Yes. I have an inspection named after me.

Coming into this internship I knew that I wanted to do something along the same lines that Bob does, but I wasn’t quite sure yet. My first week here, I was proofing the index for a religious book. The entire index was made of biblical references and had to be re-alphabetized by hand, not with the automatic word-by-word alphabetization that Word does. Considering that the index was probably close to forty pages at this point, I thought I’d hate working here the moment the stack of papers plopped onto my table. As I got into the work, the time flew by and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was enjoying myself. Later on in the semester, I worked on a few different indexes and enjoyed each one better than the last. Call me crazy, but I think I found my destiny: indexing.

I’ve always had an eye for mistakes or confusing wording, and have enjoyed helping other people with their writing, so I chose this career path as the obvious option. While I dabble in creative writing and poetry, I really enjoy editing and indexing; I want my career to be my passion. Bob has shown me that it is possible and that I can enjoy what I do with my life. This lesson negates all else that I have learned this semester—not on my internship evaluation, of course.

In my final week of interning with Bob, I hope to keep learning and experiencing the life of an editor. Or indexer in my case.

2 comments:

Aunty Belle said...

Colleen likes indexing?? Adopt her!!!

Howlin' funny:"I’ve always had an eye for mistakes...." Czar, the chile' is hired!

Think this was a terrific experience fer ya' both. (An to think I came here lookin' fer photos of yore spaz puppy.)

czar said...

@Aunty: I'll get to work on that photo. That would be the czarina's sphere of influence. My knowledge of photography is at least 20 years behind the times.

Speaking of "spheres of influence," I'm working on two books these days that would probably interest you -- from the historical and economics realms. I'll be mentioning them in a future post.