I’ve been editing and beta-reading since June now (on a voluntary basis) as I wanted to establish a few facts; the first was to gauge whether a home-based career in beta-reading/editing was viable. The second was to establish working practices, such as assessing the functionality of software like Microsoft’s track changes, methods of providing feedback etc. The third reason – and perhaps most important reason of all – was to establish if I was any good at it; there is, after all, a huge difference between writer friends telling you your feedback is good and that of a complete stranger preparing their work for publication.

Well, I’ve not had any complaints yet (that I’m aware of) so I have decided to take the next step towards becoming a professional freelance editor, which is where the title of this post comes in.

I’ve spent a lot of time researching freelance editors and noticed that while some used their real names, there were others using business names, which lead to me to wonder if I should do the same. I worried that I might not be taken seriously using my real name, but having had a discussion with a few friends, it would seem that my initial decision to use my real name is the preferred option.

My next step is to register with Inland Revenue as a sole trader, and also register with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (UK association) as an associate member. I can then work my way through the membership ranks of the association as I undertake editing specific training courses, mentorship and gain experience. I have also been advised to write under a pen name, as this will prevent confusion between ‘Michelle Dunbar the editor’, and ‘Michelle Dunbar the writer’, and I’m now in the process of setting up my writing blog (which you can find via the ‘About Me’ tab).

I believe that is all the key decisions made that I can make for the time being. I will use this blog to update my editing journey and experience as I read, edit and learn.