Recent Work

Despite my absence here on the blog in the last few months, I am still working away on both editing and writing projects! I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with some individual authors lately on large-scale publishing projects, particularly books and dissertations. Here are a few words of praise I’ve received recently, in the event these hearty endorsements convince you that I am capable and easy to work with for your own project.

“Great job, no complaints. I would be happy to hire Natalie again.” —Barbara, author of a forthcoming book on writing for academia

“Natalie does great work and it was a pleasure doing business with her.” —John, author of a forthcoming book on tuning instruments

“I am reviewing the editing and it is wonderful. . . . Thank you so much.” —Michael, author of a forthcoming book on boating and sailing

Mid-Year Update

July 1 marked the halfway point of 2019, so I thought it would be a good time to take stock of my freelance work so far this year. Professionally, it’s been a very rewarding year for me, and I hope the trend continues this summer and fall.

Here are a few highlights from the first half of 2019:

  • I continue to write articles for Healthline, an online medical and wellness website. So far my most-read article of 2019 is “Bleeding After Hysterectomy: Is It Normal & When to Call a Doctor” with 52,924 user sessions. My articles range from these very detailed medical articles to topics that are a little less intense like “Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up.” I just finished an article called “Is My Baby Having Night Terrors?” and I hope it is helpful to parents.
  • I am now collaborating with a few new clients. One client has hired me to write case studies to help a company market products in the higher education field. I have also found new clients via Reedsy and have been helping authors with their works on gestational diabetes, jazz, and instrument tuning (so far). I always say that I love my job because I come into contact with and learn about such diverse material. It’s a great fit for a lifelong reader and learner!
  • I still edit several academic journals each year. I have now copyedited several issues of the Bulletin for Research on Music Education, the Journal of Animal Ethics, Process Studies, and Jazz and Culture. The work going on in these fields is fascinating.

In addition to these highlights, I wrapped up a long-term ghostwriting collaboration with someone, copyedited/proofread a few upcoming trade books, and used my permissions-acquiring skills with a large medical-educational publisher.

Please let me know if there is anything I can help you finish as the year enters its second half.

Do I Need a Writer, an Editor, or Someone Else?

If you are unfamiliar with the publishing process, you may wonder how a writer, editor, copyeditor, or proofreader can help you. I have worked on projects in all of these roles, and here’s my brief overview of how they serve a publication.

Writer: You may need a writer if you have a lot of ideas but you can’t seem to get them down on paper. A writer can take your stream-of-consciousness thoughts or interview you to create the document you intend to publish. That may be a website, a book, or something else. Writers can also create documents with prompts you give them or a research topic to investigate. I write for many different clients and some of my projects have included writing articles, ghostwriting books or blog posts, summarizing case studies, and more.

Editor: This is a very general title and I would lean toward putting the word “developmental” in front of the title as it concerns an individual seeking help. This person can look at your work so far and give you ideas of how to reshape or retool it to meet your intended audience. A developmental editor can also help you work on flow and ask probing questions to help you dig deeper into your document. At a publishing house, an editor may also be a managing or acquiring editor. A managing editor coordinates all aspects of the publishing process and an acquiring editor finds content to publish.

Copyeditor: This person will copyedit a document that is in very good shape and almost ready for publication. This person uses a style book or style guide (and a dictionary!) to correct grammar, usage, and style errors. A copyeditor may also point out sentences that need clarification or suggest adding headings to improve readability. A copyeditor will also format references in a bibliography or notes section as well as inquire about permissions for artwork or long passages that you borrowed from another source. Your copyeditor may also be willing to fact-check a document if you request it.

Proofreader: A proofreader looks at a nearly published document usually set in its final form. A proofreader will only correct egregious errors like misspellings or the odd (or missing) punctuation mark. The proofreader ensures that everything looks clean and tidy to avoid embarrassing mistakes appearing in the final publication.

There are of course other roles in publishing like typesetters, designers, agents, reviewers, fact-checkers, translators, and more. Before you get too far with your work, however, consider whether you need one (or more) of these types of people involved in your document. Feel free to contact me to chat about your project, and I can provide you with an assessment of what I think you need.

Writing Is Magic

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Gilbert is of course the author of the mega-hit Eat Pray Love. I enjoyed this other book by her even more than the bestseller. Her take on the creative process can be helpful for writers as well as for those in other creative fields or for those who just enjoy being creative.

If you are thinking about publishing something or are already part of the world, some of Gilbert’s observations and advice could be quite helpful. I’d recommend you read this book.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

On the creativity that lives within you and how to get it into the world:

And you have treasures hidden within you — extraordinary treasures — and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing these treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think small. (p. 27)

On getting over perfectionism:

We must understand that drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. (p. 169)

On actually producing something creative (and not just tinkering forever!):

You do what you can do, as competently as possible within a reasonable time frame, and then you let it go. (p. 177)

On curiosity:

Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. (p. 237)

Treading Lightly

Recently, I read The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller. Saller is a copyeditor at the University of Chicago Press, home of the celebrated stylebook, now in its seventeenth edition. She also manages the question and answer feature on the stylebook’s website, which has been a huge resource to me over the years. I’ve followed happenings at the University of Chicago for quite some time — since the fourteenth edition!

I wholeheartedly agree with Saller’s take on copyediting and the Chicago philosophy in general. One of the sentences in the opening pages of the book sums it up perfectly:

Your first goal isn’t to slash and burn your way through [the manuscript] in an effort to make it conform to a list of style rules. (p. 7)

Unless you want someone to change your work radically (which I would suggest is substantive editing, not copyediting), this lighter and sensible approach to copyediting should put you at ease. When you hand over a manuscript for copyediting, you feel the work is in pretty good shape and that it needs some fact-checking and smoothing (and, in many cases, formatting help for references and bibliographies).

So remember that unless you are submitting an article for a publication with strict guidelines or your work needs a lot of retooling, the copyediting process should be pretty gentle.

Mid-Summer Review

My 2018 family vacation is just wrapping up, and I am excited to return to the world of editing and writing after a few weeks away from the computer screen. I have been lucky to have a lot of interesting projects in 2018 so far, and I am looking forward to what will come my way as the year advances.

The projects I’ve completed in this calendar year include the typical copyediting, proofreading, and writing tasks, but I’ve also been securing permissions for several large textbooks as well. I love having variety in my weekly and monthly calendar, so keep me in mind for whatever publishing services you need.

I continue to work with several publishing clients, including independent, academic, and trade publishers as well as individuals who need writing, editing, and communications services. I appreciate your referrals to others who are facing the daunting task of editing a dissertation, blogging regularly, retooling a website, or trying to write a book. It’s a pleasure to help people achieve their publishing aspirations.

Enjoy the rest of your summer. I hope you are in the middle of a good book and relishing these more leisurely days of the year as I just did. When you are ready to get back to work, I’ll be here!

Happy New Year! Let’s Start Working

Welcome to 2018! After a week off with family and friends, I am ready to get to work. There are lots of file folders on my desk waiting for me to crack open. January will be a busy month for editing, writing, and requesting permissions for several different clients. I am fully revved up and ready to go!

I want to thank all of my clients who made 2017 an incredible success for Silver Scribe Editorial Services. I had the pleasure of working with many different clients on a host of different projects. Some included:

  • Writing articles
  • Drafting copy for websites
  • Ghostwriting
  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading
  • Requesting permissions

Two weeks ago, Healthline, one of my clients, sent me a email summarizing the work I did in 2017, and it is a great motivator for my year ahead. In total, I wrote 56 articles for the health website and attracted more than 2 million sessions to the site! My number-one article was “15 Ways to Get Rid of Hives” (https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/how-to-get-rid-of-hives).

I hope you had a great 2017 and are looking at 2018 with a fresh and promising view. Let me know if you need any help with publishing projects, including writing, editing, proofreading, or other edidtorial work.