While looking into working freelance over the summer and into next school year, I was faced with the fact that people undervalue an editor. It may not be their fault; we really talk about how much an editor can do for a person. But the effect is being felt through much of the freelance world.
Writing is so common place that many people assume that editors might not be as important as they once were. However, many people are sorely mistaken just because of how many editors are used every day.
Language is tricky and there’s so many ways to go about using it. The average person will not know every single in and out of the style guides that exist. Heck, even editors don’t really know every in and out. Most of us are going to consult style guides and reference books all the time while on the job. What does that really mean for us, though?
Well it means that our work is in demand, very much needed, and extremely undervalued. Writers will know how much an editor is worth (maybe). But the average person won’t really think too hard about the work that I want to do.
Beyond the value of my skills, I have to remind myself that I am a very useful member of society. People that want to publish books and want to write are going to need my skills so that they can get something done.
If you’re looking to be an editor, value your time and skills. Do the jobs that you need to put food on the table, but remember that you’re allowed to say no to something that doesn’t pay well enough.