It is nearly a year since I set up my own business as a freelance proofreader, having worked as a solicitor in private practice since 2003. The roles of ‘proofreader’ and ‘solicitor’ may seem very different whereas the reality is that, as a solicitor, proofreading was a large part of my work.
I have always been an avid reader and I decided to enrol on an English Literature degree course with The Open University in 2014. I absolutely love the English language and my degree course made me realise just how much I do love it – to the point that I decided that if there was a job which essentially meant reading for a living, I was going to find it.
I figured the first search engine words should be ‘jobs for people who love to read’ and sure enough I came across proofreading. I joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders as their website and forums are full of information and advice about pursuing a career in proofreading. I then enrolled on The Publishing Training Centre’s distance learning Basic Proofreading course which I passed with a merit. This was invaluable training as proofreading is not just about spotting the occasional typographical error although that is extremely important. Proofreading involves checking the punctuation, grammar, layout and style, context, clarity, consistency and flow.
When I searched the term ‘jobs for people who love to read’ on the internet, the results also suggested a career as a lawyer as this involves copious amounts of reading and, in effect, proofreading. I therefore consider myself fortunate to have had a successful and enjoyable career working with words as a solicitor and to have made the transition to working with words as a freelance proofreader.