About Me

Editing: The Career I Love

Small-town life leads to freelance/remote work by necessity

At the end of Alan Alda’s Clear and Vivid podcast episodes, one of the “seven quick questions” he asks his guests is what gives them confidence. For me, it’s my work. I’m confident in my talent, knowledge, and skills in editing and managing publishing projects and products, which I’ve built over more than two decades in my field.

The freelance portion of my career may seem like it’s been a long time, but many contracts I’ve fulfilled and projects I’ve worked on for clients have lasted from many months to many years, so my work hasn’t been an afterthought or “side hustle.” Working freelance for clients all across the country has just been the result of living in a small town without publishing jobs. But being remote doesn't mean I haven't built solid relationships. I've worked with many of my clients for years.

On longer-term projects that have filled up my weeks for years at a time, I’ve felt like I had coworkers again, especially during my five years as a copy chief for an online content company and on the AP/undergrad social studies academic articles project where I served as the editorial coordinator. In both, we had regular meetings, and in the latter we also communicated via Slack; it felt like my team members were in cubicles just down the hall. Some of them had been with me on other projects too, so that only reinforced the notion. The latter project really made me miss working as a part of a team daily.

Over the years, I’ve also been able to grow in my skills and experience thanks to clients who trusted the work I’ve done and my ability to learn quickly. I never dreamed that I’d work in education, even tangentially, but I do. I have been on digital and print textbooks and education materials since 2012. With each new major project I get to learn and work with the current technology. In 2013, I worked on an education product delivered via PowerPoint slides. Now we have Safari Montage delivering the presentations and Google Classroom handling the teacher and student materials. In 2021, I served as the social media marketing coordinator for a local business during a staff transition. I enjoyed it thoroughly; I found the work really not that much different from establishing an editorial calendar for a magazine. Posts are just shorter and daily instead of every two weeks and 20,000–40,000 words each.

Being a freelancer means that, to remain competitive, I’ve had to continually learn new things, and I regularly take advantage of continuing education opportunities through webinars and conferences. I’ve attended seminars on technical skills, such as conducting better Google searches, as well as knowledge needs, such as keeping abreast of updates to the major style books, the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) or the American Psychological Association (APA). Webinars through my professional organizations have helped me learn about topics current to our field, including specialist niches, diversity needs in publishing, and equitable language.

I love what I do, and I become invested in the projects that I work on, with achieving high quality standards as a personal mission.

During the in-house portion of my career I worked for a music magazine (where I also helped with the parent company's music books), a children's nonfiction book publisher, and a local newspaper. Since becoming a full-time freelancer more than 10 years ago, I've worked on projects for a business book publisher, painting book (crafts) publisher, sports book publisher, a financial planner, general interest and business magazines (writing), websites and blogs (crafts, home decor, DIY, pets, and more), education publishers (digital textbooks and assessments as well as college-level reference materials), special-interest magazines (horses), directories, individual authors, and so much more. I'm learning something every day, and I love it.

It occurred to me one day that some of my clients have been with me the whole time I've been freelancing, or at least most of it, making them among the longest employers of my career. That's a testimonial to my long-lasting relationships and quality work if there ever was one. Time certainly does fly by when you're having fun.

Wearing out red and non-repro blue pencils since 1994

Some highlights

2022: Editing digital ELA curricula for grades K–2; editing handwriting lessons for grades 3–5 and grade 5 digital ELA lessons; proofing two printed textbooks for K–5; editing/proofing several books geared toward early childhood educators, one on the Disney strike, and one on preventing food allergies in infants and the interplay between the microbiome and the immune system, among other books; editing 200+ articles on health and home topics; editing 39 painting projects instructions for DecoArt paints.

2021: Editing a digital-only ELA textbook project, grades 6–12; editing ELA/phonics curricula for grades K–2; editing painting projects instructions for DecoArt paints; editing books geared toward preschool and toddler teachers; fact-checking science texts for a middle school product; editing books about a National Geographic photographer and a Gemini/Apollo astronaut and his family, among others. By the numbers: five curriculum projects and 15 books.

2020: Editing a digital-only ELA textbook project, grades 6–12; creating study guides for undergraduate textbooks in business, social studies, and anatomy; fact-checking science texts for a middle school product; editing and fact-checking news articles, books aimed toward preschool teachers, and marketing materials for a health care provider.

2019: Converting a print ELA textbook project to digital, editing SEO articles and print books.

2018: Editing and fact-checking more than 750 articles on geography, writing, grammar, music, collecting, business, and gardening; editing fiction, English language arts textbooks, and even teacher training materials.

2017: Editing education materials, such as U.S. history (college), sociology (college), biology (high school), and even physics (high school) texts and assessments; editing fiction and poetry.

2016: Editorial managing of an academic project geared toward early college students and AP high school students in social studies and humanities, made up of 2,500 essays; working more on the ELL project from the year prior.

2015: Editing, proofreading, and fact-checking books for several publishers; editing crafts/DIY/home/decor articles and blog posts; copy editing and proofing project sheets and other marketing materials for Princeton Artist Brush Company; project managing the revamping of a worldwide ELL course.

2014: Editing digital textbooks, K–12 nonfiction, business and home decor, DIY, crafts, and hobbies content; managing the social media marketing for a local cafe.

2013: Editing digital textbooks in social studies, economics, English language arts (ELA), and adult English learner (EL) lessons.

2012: Editing e-books and middle school social studies lessons, from U.S. and world history to geography and current events; fact-checking and editing informational text and study questions.

2011: Editing fiction, fact-checking K–12 nonfiction.

2010: Beginning a five-year tenure as a copy chief for Demand Studios, until the company eliminated the job category: taking help desk questions from writers and reviewing the work of a team of 20–120 copy editors, from general interest to niches such as home/DIY, crafts, and hobbies and games.

2009: Editing, proofreading, and/or photographing for about 20 books for two U.S. publishers; writing about 20 articles for three local publications and websites; editing about 3,500 articles for website clients.

2008: Editing, proofreading, and/or photographing for more than 30 books for three U.S. publishers; writing more than 20 articles for four publications local to southern Minnesota.

As an organized, detail-oriented individual, I also enjoy working with data in Excel. Does your company need an index database built to track all of your published works? A directory or a media contacts database updated? A textbook turned into an electronic product? For more information on my services, see the Services Offered page. For examples of my work and publication credits, see the Clips and Editing and Writing Credits pages, respectively. Contact me through the Contact form.

I'm a friendly, type A introvert who will meet your deadlines.