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 and proofreader, and occasional indexer. 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.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's 5 a.m. Do You Know Where Your Productivity Is?

Yeah, well. What can I say?

I think Publisher's Weekly linked through to the following article, or maybe I saw it on Bloomberg. Doesn't matter. And, as is typically the case, I didn't read every last word. That's how it goes.

I have never downloaded an app, nor, as far as I know, do I own a device on which I could use one. Maybe I could get apps for this laptop PC. I have no idea. That shows pretty much how out of it I am. I'll give up my dumb phone when they pry it from the extensions of my cold, rapidly aging nervous system.

But I read enough of this article to know that it's good news for freelance editors. As is self-publishing. As is any mean, medium, or mode that gets people reading and writing and writing and reading more.

I've not read more than 200 words of a Harry Potter book, probably to a child years ago . . . and I fell asleep before he did. But I'm very happy that J.K. Rowling had people buying books like crazy.

And when she goes to adult fiction, it's not gonna be as crazy, but crazy still.

I met Barbara Kingsolver at a local event in town a few years ago and told her as much: I haven't read a word of what you've written, but boy am I glad people love what you write.

HBO logo, circa 1972
Say 35 years ago you wanted to get into working on sitcoms -- not acting, but tech stuff. Pretty limited outlets for doing so, right? Three networks. What do you have now? Scores of sitcoms on multiple cable channels that the world could do better without. That's not the point. Someone's editing that footage, handling props, doing lighting . . . makeup, gaffers, best boys, key grips, assistant assistant special boom operator UK crew, Japanese yutes to do the anime porn . . .

No, I've never seen any of that stuff either.

The point is that as much as people want to talk about the death of this and the last gasps of that, the form might change, but the function and the desire don't. I've maintained that I don't care if what I work on comes out in ebook format or on stone tablets.

And the more that people are interested in reading and writing, and published works, and sharing what they're reading about, and interested in finding out more about it . . . all this is good for the next generation of freelance editors. If you're in your twenties and you want to be a freelance editor, know that there's plenty of work out there. Your job in your twenties is to begin to find it. Don't be shy. And begin honing your skill.

And a lot of people want to tell their stories in what they consider to be permanent form. That's still a "book." For what it's worth, I still think the go-to item for posterity will be a printed book. Does a digital file really exude warmth? As Aunty said one time (paraphrasing and sans affect), "I bought a book from a used bookstore and saw someone else's little notes and margin jottings. They were delightful. Top that, Kindle."

Even if an app could match it, it wouldn't be the same. Anymore than anime porn is the same as . . . well, never mind.

My yob is to help people and publishers put the written word out there. And the more stuff to put out there, the better it is for the profession.

Oh, it's tax time, too? I need to oil my abacus.


Katelyn said...

Appreciate the advice! "The written word is dead" is something that I have been concerned about with entering the copyediting field. Glad to have a new perspective!

czar said...

Katelyn: Thanks for stopping by. I don't think the written word will ever die. We just have to hope that the desire for quality doesn't. There's probably no precedent in nature for a race to automatically become great writers. Given that, editors in our lifetime should be safe. I hope.