Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back in the Saltmines, again...

I'm quite surprised I've lasted this long. By the middle of 2011, I will have worked for the same company, a national South African newspaper publisher, for six years. Before that I'd never lasted more than two years before terminal boredom set in.

Granted, my day-job isn't the most inspiring, but it has opened doors for me to write lifestyle and travel-orientated editorial, which is published nationally. I've turned what could have been a very boring day-job into something fun and challenging, but it does require going beyond the call of duty and putting in a lot of extra hard work I don't get paid for.

What I realised this past week or so while I was on leave, is that I really enjoy my freelance work as a content editor. I've also realised that if this job were to ever pay the right kind of money, I possess the discipline to turn this into a full-time profession.

And I've really revelled in a fortnight of hiding in my Treehaus in the far south of the Cape Peninsula. After the year I've had, this time of isolation was so necessary, just to catch my breath and establish fresh current for 2011. I'm cautiously optimistic about what this year will bring and have managed to get some quiet time.

What struck me as well during my leave was that I really enjoyed working from home, on my content editing. Not only do I have the satisfaction of seeing an author's work go out into the world, but there's the quiet joy of giving authors that toehold in the publishing industry.

When I see how authors bloom and gain confidence, it's a source of joy and wonder. With each first contract offered, I recapture some of the excitement when a letter that said, "Dear author, thank you for querying, but..." reads "Dear author, we are pleased to offer you a contract..."

And when those first good reviews come in, I recall the hours of hard work and I feel that warm fuzzy glow knowing I was partially responsible for shaping these words that have pleased readers.

There's something subtle and satisfying in seeing new cover art for the first time, remembering the sometimes hesitant query letters I read when I reviewed a submission of a previously unpublished author, how a manuscript has gone from a MS Word document to a final .pdf with lush cover art.

And, while some of my charges are going on to bigger, more ambitious projects, this gives me a sense of accomplishment for having been there to give them that much-needed boost so they can go out there and realise their dreams.

Yes, I'm a facilitator of dreams, and I love it. And, while it sometimes stings that I can't do this full-time, I'm doing it because it's something that adds quality not only to my own creativity, but to those of others who are also prone to dreaming.


Moira said...

I love that you consider yourself a facilitator of dreams. An awesome and even inspiring way to view what you do. I mean honestly, who wouldn't be fascinated by that? "Hi, what do you do for a living?" "Me? Well my official title is Facilitator of Dreams." That would leave anyone salivating for more insight into what you do.

Glad you feel more relaxed and rejuvenated after your holiday.

Brooklyn Ann said...

That is so awesome. I've edited a few friend's manuscripts and they've returned the favor. I can't wait to see their names on a pub. contract and I know they feel the same.

Sondrae Bennett said...

I agree with Moira. What a great way to look at what you do, and it's so true!