Well, 2020 is proving to be an experience, isn’t it?
In my work, I’ve had to pick at least a couple of people up for writing that this year is ‘unprecedented’: there have, of course, been pandemics before. I’m less optimistic than many seem to be that this will all be over by this time next year, but here’s hoping I’m wrong.
Partly as a result of the effects of lockdown (which in Argentina began on the 18th March, saw us unable to leave the house in daylight hours for its first four months and only officially ended a couple of weeks ago), I’ve not updated this blog as much as I’d hoped.
But October and November have been exciting months here at Undisputed Proof Towers. (It’s just one tower really, and it’s probably a bit grand to name the whole thing after my proofreading business given my girlfriend and I occupy a one-bedroom flat on the sixth floor. But what the hell.)
In October, I became a tutor on the Publishing Training Centre’s Essential Proofreading course. This is the updated version of the course I qualified through myself, which was called Basic Proofreading back when I gained a distinction in it in early 2018.
When my former tutor (and the course’s author), Margaret Aherne, approached me about joining the team I was tremendously honoured, and I’ve enjoyed starting off with my first batch of students. The students in the stock photo below are not my students, as far as I know.
Apart from allowing me to help others into this great career, I’ve found that tutoring is also benefitting my own proofreading work as well. I try to be a self-critical person (like everyone, I’m probably better at this in some aspects of life than in others), and thinking about the best way to advise students on how they can improve has me constantly checking in with myself to follow my own advice. I can’t wait to see where tutoring takes me.
In early November, I had the pleasure of attending the conference of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) for the first time.
The conference was held via Zoom, so those of us in far-flung parts of the globe were able to attend more easily and cheaply than would normally be the case. It was really well organised and there were some fascinating sessions; I hope I’ll have time soon to write a blog post about the conference, because it deserved more than this brief mention.
And last week I continued my career development by finishing the CIEP’s Copyediting 1: Introduction course.
Shortly after I originally signed up for the course, back in May, my workload ballooned, so I didn’t work through it as quickly as I’d expected to. I found it really interesting, though, and learnt a lot about the sort of processes which, as a proofreader, I’ve mostly only seen the tail end of in my career so far.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to start offering copyediting services – yet!
The course is just an introduction to the role, and I’ll need to study further before I’m ready to take on copyediting in a serious way. But it’s allowed me to look into something I’d been wondering about for a little while, and gives me some food for thought during 2021.
So: a new job in an interesting new role, a first taste of CIEP conference and a completed course! It’s been an interesting couple of months, and I know all these experiences will make me a better editorial professional than ever. The next step is to blog more regularly, so watch this space for my conference highlights soon!