Many Club Ed students are moving to book editing/developmental editing from other careers. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of teachers making the transition – they’ve either quit their jobs and are looking for the next thing or they’re planning to quit their jobs soon. And I don’t blame them! I can’t imagine much that would be more difficult right now than trying to work as a teacher.
Editing can be a great next career for teachers, as it has a strong instructional element, clients often need the kind of support and reassurance that is second nature for teachers, plus you can make more money than at your teaching job.
Before you jump into freelance editing, though, it’s important to make sure that it’s the right landing pad. There’s a lot to love about freelancing as an editor – you can do it from home, you don’t have to deal with anyone’s parents, and if someone annoys you, you don’t have to work with them anymore.
But it’s also a complex and challenging job and the reality may not meet your expectations.
I always recommend doing at least a few actual developmental edits before making any decision about story editing, because DE isn’t “I read books for a living!” It requires an understanding of storytelling techniques, critical methods, and effective editorial processes.
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 job changers of any type:
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 (starts September 12, 2022) and Intermediate (starts October 10, 2022) Developmental Editing of Fiction classes feature instructor feedback on your work and classroom forums where students ask questions and can interact with each other.
Earning the Club Ed Certificate in the Developmental Editing of Fiction can be a good way to reassure yourself (and your clients) that you’ve received sufficient training in developmental editing.