As a member of the Indian Copyeditors Forum, I have met editors from various fields during our offline and online meetups. You can catch the weekly zoom sessions on various aspects of editing that are conducted by leading experts. I have been fortunate to publish a book that helps you understand the basics of editing required by authors and writers for your nonfiction or fiction book.
Some time ago, I had a chat with Aishwariya about her work and how she manages her packed schedule. This was before I got sucked under the daily drudgery of life and the big move from one city to another. Now I am back and so is this interview series where editors share their wisdom so you can write a better book.
I welcome Aishwariya to the blog. It’s wonderful to chat with a fellow editor after a long break.
Q1. As an Editor Explains, tell us, Aishwariya, what pulled you into the field of editing?
To cut a long story short, my love for words drew me to editing.
Q2. What levels of editing do you offer Aishwariya? What are your favourite genres to work with?
I do substantive editing, copy editing and proofreading. I offer suggestions on how the sentence can be written better and rewrite it. I don’t just point out that a bulleted list needs to be parallel in structure – I make it parallel for my clients.
I am a Marcom editor. I edit marketing collateral such as datasheets, solution briefs, service briefs and white papers. I also edit e-learning courses/modules like instructor-led training and web-based training. I have reviewed K12 courses as well as e-learning courses on a variety of topics, including human resources and physiotherapy. I edit press releases for PR firms, corporate blogs, byline articles, Q&A for clients for release to the press and so on.
I have created style guides for the companies that have engaged me. I use UK English or US English as required. I’ve used the Chicago Manual of Style, New Hart’s Rules, the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, now known as The Microsoft Manual of Style: Your Everyday Guide to Usage, Terminology, and Style for Professional Technical Communications (MSTP) and client-specific style guides.
Q3. Tell us about your typical workday?
I start work at 9.30 am and work till 6 pm unless there is an urgent client deliverable, in which case, I stretch. A typical workday involves editing a blog, press releases, Q&A and tweets for clients.
Q4. Editors are usually voracious readers and booklovers. Are you a one or multi-book reader? What are you reading right now?
I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. Back then, I read one book at a time. Now, in my forties, I read popular fiction, literary fiction, books about writing and occasionally crime fiction and horror. These days, I read about three books simultaneously. I read about 30-40 books a year and track them on Goodreads. I review some of them on my blog. I also read industry news and magazine articles. My current read is the book ‘ I, The Writer – 114 essays from modern writers about being a writer’ by Sweetycat Press.
Q5. How do you sustain interest in even the most mundane aspects of editing – proofreading, fact-checking, source-checking, etc.?
No aspect of editing can be considered mundane. I aim to give a 100 per cent to every document that comes to me for editing and to make it error-free, readable and engaging. An editor’s job often goes unrecognised unless there is a major error, in which case, it sticks out like a sore thumb, and the editor is hauled over the coals.
Q6. Share about your most confounding editing assignment to date Aishwariya. How did it affect you as an editor?
I got an assignment to edit content for an IT client for an advertising agency a couple of years back. I got the job through a referral. I edited the documents to the client’s satisfaction. I did not have a contract in place, and my only point of contact at the agency went back on her word on the rates, so I received one-third of the amount after putting in work at a time when I needed a photocoagulation procedure for my eyes. This experience has made me wary about working with new clients without a contract in place. Sometimes, a contract is only worth the paper it is written on, and the client can plead that they don’t have money to pay, which leaves you in an awkward position and helpless.
Q7. Please share one pro-tip Editor Aishwariya Laxmi for your writers in Editor Explains?
I think every writer must desist from plagiarism. Most of the time, I see writers using bits and pieces from different articles on the net without acknowledging the source. It is vital to see that one’s piece is plagiarism-free. Writers must maintain their integrity and reputation and safeguard the intellectual property of authors. It is a sacred trust.
Q8. Where can writers reach you for editing queries?
Writers can reach Editor Aishwariya Laxmi at [email protected] for editing queries.
My website is https://aishwariyalaxmi.com/
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aishwariya
Thank you, Aishwariya, for sharing your wisdom with the readers in the series Editor Explains, I wish you the best for your future endeavors. I am so glad I could host you on Eloquent Articulation.
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