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Journalist to proofreading/copyediting - getting started & SfEP membership question

(7 Posts)
CareerGirl01 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:28:24

I'm about to take maternity leave (earlier this time round as with DC1 I worked up to 38 weeks, but my blood pressure went sky high). Am thinking of spending 3 of my ten 'catch up days' doing some SfEP courses. I'm a journalist with published books but I'm not officially a copywriter or proofreader but I do want to add some more skills to my exisiting ones. Is it worth upgrading my membership by doing these courses, I'm an associate but have managed to get bugger all work - even by going on the associates available list.
I'm 30 weeks pregnant on Thursday - luckily I can do bits and pieces of journalism but it's turning out to be quite stressful chasing work, what I do is specialised but there are alot of pushy freelancers out there (some good some bad some as good as me) and I want to work at a less stressful but higher output pace (i.e spend more time working for regular clients with whom I can build up a working relationship). Anyone else done this?

thekitchenfairy Sun 03-Mar-13 08:02:06

Hi there CG

The going is very tough out there at the moment. I have been SE for most of my working life, jobbing production/copy editor, writing when it came my way and copywriting for web, proofing etc.

The last 5 years have seen, IME, a huge change in copy: what clients expect, how it is delivered. Yet we are in an intern culture now where clients are increasingly unwilling to pay for the part of the process that polishes. My subbing/ proofing work is all but dried up unless it is launch copy. Writers seem to be expected to produce clean copy as there is no budget for subbing... I know there is no such thing as100% clean and it shows... I think more publications have errors and online copy can be riddled with them...

I have been trying to move across into books, to find work proofreading, I have professional accreditation and am a member of the SfEP but it is slow going... I am on numerous lists of freelancers but there are those who have done this for years and years who sit at the top I think!

The journalist website is good for resources, as is the SfEP site... But I am not sure training is something you need. I think whatever area you decide to concentrate in you will have to work hard to chase work. Stressful with a small one... In fact I struggled for several years when DS2 was tiny, I just didn't have the energy to do the chasing...

Wishing you lots of luck! I am sure there is an income stream out there... It's just finding it!

reddaisy Sun 03-Mar-13 08:25:46

I agree with TheKitchenFairy. My company has made the whole sub editing team redundant and reporters are now expected to do it themselves which leads to A LOT of errors for me to deal with. The reductionbis quality is very depressing. Personally I am thinking about a move into PR for some security and a decent wage or even into teaching but a lot of threads on here about teaching put me off grin

Good luck whatever you decide!

CareerGirl01 Wed 06-Mar-13 17:59:07

Hi red and kitchen since that post have had a pregnancy scare - which means I may have to take my mat leave early. I hold subs and subbing skills in v high esteem - I write for national newspapers and without them - well my copy wouldn't look as great. Even in writing (journalism) there is an intern culture - using them where possible. Am going to re-assess my whole career path as am nog sure I can do the whole selling myself as an editor - even though I have some if the skills.

reddaisy Wed 06-Mar-13 22:02:48

Hope everything is alright with your pregnancy. And keep us posted on what you decide, I might be able to copy you if it works out!

CareerGirl01 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:14:25

Hmm after sleeping on it, am not sure about doing the SfEP courses. I do have a website - which has loads of content, but I need to learn SEO, and code really. If I can make some money from the site (its a magazine) then I can afford to take on a sub, and no need to re-train. But need to get my 'you know what' together.

CareerGirl01 Mon 22-Apr-13 09:46:39

Hi there - after all this - I decided to take early maternity leave and guess what - got offers of work (magazine and national newspapers - my usual fare) and haven't even got round to re-training yet. It will be something I do - but after my baby is born now!

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