Do you dream of indexing? I don’t think I know many people who do, but there are editors out there who love it, and one of those editors is Rachel Newman. She entered the editing world through the legal field and knows the frustration of running a home business going while tending to a newborn. Here’s Rachel Newman.
When did you start writing/editing professionally?
When I graduated from college in 2006, I entered the legal field as a support staff member for a local district attorney. Editing legal documents was an integral part of the job. I founded Revisions by Rachel, LLC in June 2015.
Why did you want to be a freelance writer/editor?
For many years, I’ve dreamed of owning my own business. At the point my husband and I bought our first house together, my heart was very much to be working from home. I prayed earnestly that God would show me His plan for my career. He spoke to me in the middle of a chiropractic adjustment, of all things, and told me I was going to be a freelance editor. From that moment, I knew it was my destiny and immediately began pursuing training to become the best I could be.
What’s your specialty/focus? Why/how did you pick this?
I focus on editing young adult speculative fiction, memoir, and children’s books, and I index nonfiction books. These genres are the genres I enjoy reading and have the most experience reading. It’s important to be familiar with the types of books you edit, and so these were the natural choice for me. I chose indexing because I use book indexes extensively in my own personal research. I value a well-written index and I suffer frustration when I encounter a poorly-written one.
What’s your favorite part of this kind of work?
Helping authors produce high-quality works of creativity. There’s nothing like the feeling I get when I see one of my authors who feels like he or she has accomplished a great feat. Knowing I helped them reach that point is very rewarding.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome during your career?
The biggest challenge I’ve encountered so far is trying to run a home business with a newborn. There’s been many times I wanted to give up, but somehow I’ve come through and made it work.
What’s surprised you the most during your career?
The number of authors who have no clue how time-intensive quality editing is.
If you could give a new freelance writer/editor one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stay true to the giftings and callings God has put on your heart.
If you could do one thing differently in your career, what would it be?
I honestly can’t think of a thing I would change. Looking back, I can see how God has used everything to bring me to this point. There are some difficult things that had I known they were coming, I would have chosen not to go through them. But now that I’m on this side of them, I wouldn’t go back and change them. If I did, I’d end up in some bizarro alternate reality like the one the Flash is dealing with on the current TV series.
What’s your favorite kind of work? Why?
This is a tough one, because there are so many things I enjoy about the different aspects of my job. But if I had to nail it down, at the moment I would say indexing. It’s extremely satisfying to develop a reference that is neat, orderly, and functional. It’s like creating a treasure map for each book. Just so much fun!
My home has an open concept floor plan, so the kitchen, dining space, and living room is all one big room. My workspace is located in a corner of that. I’ve got a corner desk, a small bookshelf, and a printer. I put my shiatsu back massager on one of the kitchen chairs, and I use that as my office chair.
What is your go-to snack when working?
Organic Granny Smith apple slices smothered in all natural peanut butter and topped with stevia-sweetened chocolate chips.
Excluding the CMOS (that’s a given) what one editing resource would you recommend? Why?
I’m guessing CWMS is also a given? So other than those two, it really depends on what kind of job I’m editing. If it’s fiction, I recommend Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne & King and The Creative Writer’s Style Guide, by Leland. If it’s children’s books, I recommend Children’s Writer’s Word Book, by Mogilner, Writing Picture Books, by Whitford Paul, and The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children, by Lamb. If I’m indexing, I recommend Indexing Books, by Mulvany. Sorry, that’s way more than you asked for. . . .
If you could only recommend one writing resource, what would it be? Why?
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne & King
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Whatever you’ve set your hand to do, it’s worth doing with excellence. So take the time to make sure it’s the best it can possibly be.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!