Here at Proofreading Academy, we’re often asked “Is editing for me?” To which our answer is typically a resounding “Yes!” One of the best things about freelance proofreading and editing is that you can make it fit your lifestyle, so all kinds of people can find fulfillment in this work.
To prove this, we’ve spoken to a few PA graduates about life as a proofreader. Today, we catch up with working mum Laura to see how training as an editor has worked for her.
Hi, Laura. Tell us, if you will, what made you consider the Proofreading Academy course?
Before signing up for the PA course, I was a full-time mummy, as well as doing some supply teaching in a local primary school. But after ten years of teaching and having two children, I wanted a change. And since I have always been passionate about the English language, it seemed like a perfect fit!
Had you done any proofreading before?
Does marking hundreds of English books count? In all seriousness, no, but a large part of primary English is teaching the grammatical skills required to write well.
Did you enjoy the PA course? Was it challenging enough?
I thought my English degree meant I’d work through it quite quickly. And while this did help, the course covers so much that I had to spend time getting to grips with some parts. In all honesty, though, it was the best money I have ever spent! For the learning materials you receive and the amazing support from the PA gang, I would happily have paid triple!
How have you found the transition to working as a freelance proofreader?
The transition was nerve-racking and wonderful at the same time! The course prepares you perfectly for working as a proofreader, and the admins at Proofed are fantastic – they make you feel part of the team straight away. I now work anything from three to seven days a week.
How have you found balancing proofreading and your other responsibilities?
The work is extremely flexible, and when I have a lot on at home, or the children are on school holidays, I adapt my working days and work less than during term time. There is no pressure from the Proofed team at all, and they are great at understanding the demands of family life.
I’m also a commission-based artist, and freelancing allows me to pursue this as well.
Where do you proofread? Have you got a workspace set up?
I have my own desk and workspace in our conservatory, where I get to look at the garden and enjoy the sun pouring in. It also means the children can do activities at the table, so we can still be together even if I am working. It’s probably my favorite room in the house.
What do you enjoy most about proofreading?
Where do I start? Probably knowing that I am helping someone articulate their thoughts in the best way they can – it may sound a little clichéd, but it’s the teacher in me, and it happens to be true. After that, it’s doing a job I love that feeds my thriving, inner word-nerd. What better job is there for someone who loves to get into the weeds of the English language?
Are you making a decent income from freelancing so far?
We decided from the beginning that we were not going to include my proofreading pay in any household budgeting – instead, we would use it for family treats and to make memories with the children. I talked to my husband and we set a modest target of £50 a week for my earnings. I am now nearly four months into working for Proofed and I am easily tripling my target. I’m able to earn an income that helps us with treats for the family, but it also helps with bills and holidays, as well as any little surprises life throws at us (like a broken fridge).
What do you do when you aren’t proofreading?
Honestly? Mostly running around after my children and keeping on top of the jobs a home brings with it – along with the odd artwork commission. Nothing glamorous or rock ’n’ roll.
Is there anything else you want to share?
If the only thing holding you back is spending the money on the course, do it! And if you are happy to work hard and prepared to persevere, you’ll not look back.