Story Editing as a Second Career

When I teach developmental editing classes, I get a lot of students transitioning from other careers. They’re often lawyers, social workers, and teachers – though I’ve also taught actors, accountants, and engineers, among others. What they have in common is that they love stories and want to explore whether book editing (story editing/developmental editing) is a reasonable second act career.

And it can be! One of the great things about freelance editing is that it’s something you can pursue adjacent to your day job. You can take classes, do beta reads for experience, develop a marketing plan, and take on a few clients even while working your regular job.

I always recommend doing at least a few actual developmental edits before making any permanent change in your current work, because DE isn’t “I read books for a living!” It is a complex and challenging job and the reality may not match up with your imagination.

In fact, when people who take my classes decide DE is not for them, I consider that a win for both of us. They gave it a shot, now they know that it isn’t what they expected and they can plan accordingly.

Club Ed has a couple of ways to learn whether developmental editing could be a good second career for you:

Naked Editing shows the process of developmental editing.

The self-paced DE 1 – 6 is an in-depth look at how to do developmental editing.

The instructor-led Beginning and Intermediate Developmental Editing of Fiction classes feature instructor feedback on your work and classroom forums where students ask questions and can interact with each other.

Join the Club!

how to become an editor

New to story editing? Begin at the beginning.

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