Making an income from creative writing is tricky. But you can find work that supports your creativity while letting you use your language skills to help people. Let us introduce Alie, a poet and English graduate who recently completed our Becoming A Proofreader course.
Hi, Alie! What made you consider the Proofreading Academy course?
In college, I studied English with a focus on creative writing; when I graduated, I wanted a job that would give me time to focus on my own writing projects, so I worked as a waitress. But after five years, I decided I wanted a career more in line with my interest in language.
Proofreading and editing was something I’d always been interested in but never tried seriously. I researched a lot of proofreading courses, but I chose Proofreading Academy because of the work guarantee. Honestly, it seemed too good to be true – not only would I learn proofreading skills, I’d also get the opportunity to help real clients improve their writing!
Was there anything surprising in the course for you?
I found the course’s level of detail challenging, but it was also reassuringly thorough and very thoughtfully constructed. Initially, I was only familiar with the rules of American English, but I became more comfortable with other dialects after finishing the course.
How has your transition to working as a freelance proofreader been?
I went from working at a restaurant full time, surrounded by people and noise and general commotion, to working exclusively from home: just me and the cat in a quiet room. That was tough. But as far as being welcomed to Proofed as a freelancer, everything was very smooth.
It was reassuring to talk one-on-one with someone who had started off as a freelance proofreader as well. After that, the admins kept an eye on my progress. They helped me identify my strengths and improve as a proofreader. In addition, one benefit of Proofed is that you don’t have to track down clients yourself. It’s a pretty ingenious system.
How has life changed for you now as a freelance proofreader?
My schedule is a lot more flexible. It’s made it easier to spend time with family. For example, because I can take my work with me wherever I go, I was able to spend two weeks with my parents in my hometown halfway across the US for the holidays. I’ve never had a job that allowed me to do something like that before! In general, I’ve felt like I have a lot more freedom.
What do you enjoy most about proofreading?
I enjoy getting a glimpse into subjects I wouldn’t usually encounter otherwise, like the very first document I proofread, which was a brochure for an art museum in South Korea.
Since then, I’ve proofread papers about animal nutrition, musical composition, architecture, sports science, forestry, microbiology, etc. There’s always something new to discover!
The best benefit is feeling like I’ve achieved something positive each day. A lot of Proofed’s clients speak English as a second language. When you’re working on a document, you get a sense of how hard they have worked, and to help them improve their writing is a joy.
What do you do when you aren’t proofreading?
I write poems! They’ve been published in a few journals, and last year I self-published a 20-poem chapbook. I also love reading and try my hand at collage every now and then.
Finally, do you feel the course was good value for money?
Definitely! Proofreading Academy changed my life. I was really stuck before. I loved writing poetry. But I was very lost in terms of how I was going to make a living. I wanted to do work that I could feel good about at the end of the day. Proofreading Academy has given me that.
Since becoming a member of the admin team at Proofed, moreover, it’s become even more apparent how much they invest in their freelancers – the extensive feedback, the support they offer for freelancers who are struggling, the help and advice they give. I’m very lucky to have had this opportunity and be able to work with the people of Proofed. Thank you!