Marks for NYR progress

NYE-R2You know how you have that week where it’s supposed to be quiet and it’s not? I’ve had two of them in a row, which is how I choose to start the analysis of how those pesky New Years Resolutions are going:

1. Draw in Journal

Michelle started well with good intentions then got sidetracked with other things and the journal she specifically bought, sized to fit in her handbag so she could carry anywhere and draw at whim, has now become a “To Do” list of sorts, featuring sporadic scribbles (usually done whilst on the phone or when listening to her online classes that she’s trying to catch up on). Disappointing. 5/10

2. Massage once a month

You’d think this would be an easy one but it has proved to take rather more thought and action than anticipated. The score so far is 2 massages over the past 4 months but she has made a booking for number 3 next week. Better than expected. 7/10

3. Body Balance/Yoga classes

Like all things, Michelle started with enthusiasm then completely lost it. However, she has started swimming laps so technically she is still doing something for her health that is relatively stress-free on her body whilst toning muscles. Of course, we wait to see how her progress goes now that cooler weather is here. Satisfactory. 8/10

4. Keep criticisms to self and give out love and acceptance

Woeful. Hardly attempted. Has resorted to yelling/sighing loudly/rolling eyes whenever Kat from MKR is on the screen. Made NIH watch Cinderella and conceded to view Fast and Furious 7 as payment. Rolled eyes so many times from implausible scenarios/terrible lines almost fainted from dizzy spells. Meanwhile, NIH was called to work halfway through movie and has asked for no spoilers, even if they come wrapped in sarcastic remarks. Tempted to give a zero but at least she is aware of her judginess even if she can’t seem to control herself. And did feel sad at dedication to Paul Walker at end of F&F7. 2/10

5. Write blog post once a week

Was doing well but has gone off the rails over the past few weeks. Blames workload. Suspect just disorganised. 7/10

6. Mini clean up/declutter once a week

Hmm. She did clean the ensuite bathroom today. And has finally got rid of the books/DVD’s/extra bibs and bobs that were marked for culling in the last clean up done 6 months ago. Fortunately NIH has done up a job board for the two young men who still live at home so perhaps future clean ups will just mean moving NIH’s shit from the dining room table to his desk. And her shit from the kitchen bench to somewhere else. She’s trying. 5/10

7. Bake Bread

Consistent effort throughout the past three months. Has settled into a pattern of baking which begins on Sunday night with getting the starter out to warm up overnight and ends on Tuesday night with baked bread out of the oven.

Number of loaves: 12
Number of times bread has been like a tasty brick that makes great crunchy toast: 10
Number of times bread has been fluffy goodness: 2
9/10 for effort

OVERALL MARK: 43/70 (61%)

That’s a pass, right?

Proofreading is not for the weak

daily_picdump_550_640_09Many people ask how I got into proofreading which usually slides into how can THEY get into proofreading as it sounds like an awesome gig.  Working from home. Correcting creativity because you may not be able to write it but hell, you know what good grammar looks like.  Easy, right?

Well, yeah. It is relatively stress-free and I have to admit it is a very good gig when the work is around.  And I can listen to music while I do it.  But as to how I got into it?  Quite by accident, actually.

I may have mentioned in my last post how study is my happy place and it’s usually my go-to when life gets craptastic.  I can’t actually remember how I found the course but it was $1000 and sounded great and was, for all intents and purposes, exactly what I needed (except I don’t know that anyone actually proofreads by hand using strange squiggly lines anymore. Like many other things in life, it’s all gone digital).  I completed it in record time … but breaking into the industry is a little more challenging.  Looking back, I was so very, very lucky.

There’s a band of five of us from Uni who still get together once every five years (although now we’re *ahem* more mature, we’ve decided we may need to shorten that timeframe).  I had just finished my course when we had a catch-up and one of the girls mentioned she did overwhelmingly well in her first year working from home as a proofreader for the advertising agency she’d worked for before babies … so much so that it would be great to have someone who could take the overload when it got too much or she wanted to take a weeks’ holiday.

I tentatively put up my hand, like a shy kid on her first day at school, and mentioned how I’d just finished such a course.  Even though she’s a great friend whom I’ve known for years, she’s bossy so I was a little scared at first! But actually, we have the perfect working relationship. She gives me tips and tells me when I stuff up and all in all has been a wonderful mentor – so much so that when I decided to jump out of the rat race and try freelance, she was incredibly supportive and we’ve been able to ramp up business quite a bit.

So, the short answer to any inquiries about how to get into the business of proofreading is … luck. It’s not what you know but who you know.

The next thing people say is how easy it must be and how they could do it too.  And that’s where I become a little more cagey. What I want to say is “Yeah, but I’ve seen your Facebook posts!!!!!!!*”*Note: This is an example of such Facebook posts that make my right eye twitch. More than one exclamation or question mark is really not necessary and looks completely stupid.

It’s not actually that easy and if you’ve ever had to read an insurance document outlining all the fine print … oh … you haven’t? No, of course not. Because it’s BORING.  But that’s quite a bit of what I do. Read the fine print. Make sure all the headings are consistent. All the capitals are capitals or lower cases are lower cases and does this look the same as the heading on the previous three pages?  An incorrectly spelt word is easy to find.  It’s all the other stuff that makes me feel like a Word Detective.

I love it because it appeals to my craving for structure and neatness and control and a place for everything and everything in it’s place.  But one thing I have discovered is that I can’t proofread my own stuff.  If I do a graphic design job that requires proofreading as well, I need to do one then walk away and do something else and give my brain time to swap over before I come back to concentrate on the other as  looking at the presentation then going through the text uses different parts of the brain.

And as for my blogs?  Oh yeah. There’s gonna be some clangers in here 🙂