BRANCHING OUT

As most of you know, my editing specialties are in the biological and biochemical sciences. I have, after all, an MS in biochemistry.

However, in my time as a freelance editor, I have learned to branch out, or “diversify,” to be more refined. I believe that this must be done in order to succeed as an editor. It’s just common sense.

For example, I edit materials for my church. Now, none of them have anything to do with the sciences. However, quite a bit of fact-checking can be involved in the form of looking up Bible verses in different translations of the Bible. There is an absolutely wonderful website, BibleGateway.com, which one can search to find just about any Scripture verse in any Bible translation. Since the programs at my church contain Bible verses, I could not do my job without this website.

Another way in which I have diversified is in my editing of the website and catalogs of an outdoor furniture company, Country Casual Teak, which sells very beautiful teak outdoor furniture. My job here requires more of a sharp eye than anything else, since I have to compare prices on a PDF with prices on a master spreadsheet, for example, or make sure that a product’s dimensions are correct and consistent. Although such work can be tedious at times, I enjoy it, largely because I get to see so many beautiful photos as a fringe benefit.

This past week, I was assigned a scientific paper to edit which was in a field that was very different to me: economics and logistics. I surprised myself by being able to understand the terms used and the logic behind the conclusions. I found myself having impostor syndrome while I was working on this paper, and I still have it now, because I do not yet know whether the authors approve of my work. If things go well, however, I will definitely be able to claim a huge victory.

How about you? How do you diversify?

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