Whether your home office is a whole room in your house or a corner of your bedroom, having the right paint color in your work space can make a difference in your productivity. White or gray might seem like the obvious choices, but blue, green, brown, and even orange can set the right mood for your writing project.
Clare is an interior paint and supplies online store that aims to make paint shopping easier and more inspiring. You might like Clare because they offer a curated palette of 55 timeless colors to eliminate browsing through 50 shades of beige. I love them because they have a quiz to help you find the right color and send you sample swatches to stick on your wall for only $2. Their ultra-premium paint is Zero VOC* and GREENGUARD Gold Certified for low chemical emissions.
Today is Arbor Day, a holiday in which we are encouraged to plant trees. I don’t know about you, but I do not have the resources or the experience necessary to plant a tree today. However, I have supported companies that plant trees for every product that you buy.
Every year, I send out Christmas cards featuring photos of my dogs, and I design and send them through a company called Paper Culture. “Instead of cutting down forests to fill your order,” says Paper Culture, “we use post-consumer waste and wood alternatives. We plant a tree with every order.”
For our wedding, my husband and I ordered wine from ONEHOPE. At ONEHOPE, every bottle of wine that you order makes some sort of social impact: helping to end childhood hunger, getting shelter animals adopted, providing clean drinking water, etc. (Ordering California Sauvignon Blanc supports the environment.)
In February, I copy edited a book intended for social entrepreneurs (i.e., people who want to start a business with the goal of solving social problems). The author poses the question, "Think of your field as a whole. Is it known for being stagnant or innovative?" I chuckled and thought about the copy editor stereotype: an elderly white woman with glasses, similar to the librarian stereotype, but instead of holding their index finger to their lips, they are holding a red pen and looking down at your work with disappointment.
Now that I’m 26, my husband keeps teasing me about being in my “late twenties.” (He’s two years younger than me.) Long ago are the days when I would hang a celebrity’s poster on my wall and think about how grown up they seemed. It's weird that I'm the same age as Cardi B...
Being born in 1993 makes me a millennial, and being a millennial has actually been a benefit to me as a copy editor. We spent our childhood years making mud pies and playing with Play-Doh, but we also grew up with the Internet and social media — allowing us to balance the old and the new. In university, I received a formal technical writing and editing education, even learning the traditional proofreading marks that our stereotypical copy editor would have used before Track Changes was invented. But I also took courses dedicated to document design, analyzing audiences, and inbound marketing.
Happiness hides in life's small details. If you're not looking, it becomes invisible. — Joyce Brothers
This quote rings true for me this morning.
I am sitting in my home office at the desk that my husband built for me to do this very work. My home is filled with natural light. I can smell my strawberry candle and hear the wind chimes outside. The cows are grazing outside my window. I am feeling love for the life that my husband and I built together.
But most of the time, it's hard for me to notice these little details of my life. I usually see the piles of laundry (yes, plural), the Christmas tree that we have yet to take down (oops), and the permanent indention in the couch marking where my dog always sleeps. It's interesting how the ugly details will outshine the beautiful ones, making my home appear out of order.
Writing is like that too.
Eugene Weekly posted an article yesterday titled "Requiem for a Newspaper," which discusses what typically happens when corporate ownership buys a local newspaper. In short, many long-standing employees are fired, such as Dan Buckwalter, the copy editor whose story is featured.
While this article focuses on the newspaper industry, the "disappearance" of professional copy editors is not a new trend. People hear these horror stories and ask, "When profit becomes a driving force, does the integrity of the writing diminish?"
In my experience, either the remaining employees pick up the slack or a freelance copy editor, such as myself, is hired on an as-needed basis. The good news is that for every article like this, there is probably a job posting out there looking to hire the kind of talent who was just let go.
So far this year, I have had three nonfiction authors ask me about citing sources in their eBooks. And all three of them have had to go back and hunt down sources that they found many moons ago.
You can avoid this headache by keeping track of your sources from the beginning.
As a copy editor, I see ads for Grammarly all the time. (By now you probably know that ads are customized to you.) Grammarly is an online grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection platform. And you can start using it for free.
I downloaded the Chrome extension to check it out.
When you are searching for a copy editor, first ask yourself whether you are looking for a beginner, an intermediate, or an advance copy editor:
Side-Hustle: work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job
It seems like everyone interested in a side hustle wants to start copy editing. And with all of these freelance copy editors out there, it may be hard to determine which ones are qualified for your particular project.
Here are 5 simple questions that will help you get to know your copy editor:
Before becoming a part-time technical writer for an IT division, technology intimidated me. When I was in college, I didn’t take courses such as “Writing on the Web” or “Writing Software Documentation” because I was sure that those topics would fly right over my head.
Who would have guessed that I would be an IT technical writer three years later.
Alora D. Boerner
Freelance copy editor serving nonfiction writers, small business owners, and job seekers.